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The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) in California is showing its next-generation automated driving research vehicle, Platform 3.0, at CES this week in Las Vegas.
The new platform, which is built on a Lexus LS 600hL, combines greater technological capabilities with new harmonized styling that integrates the automated vehicle technology into the LS model’s design.
TRI approached development of a new research platform with three core principles:
(1) Elevate perception capabilities to be an industry pacesetter among automated vehicles;
(2) Blend the sensing equipment into the vehicle design with a distinct appearance that is sleek and elegant;
(3) Package the automated vehicle technology in a manner that is easy to reproduce for building a fleet at scale.
Platform 3.0 represents maturing of TRI’s automated vehicle research. Experimentation has transitioned to narrowing in on a technology package with a more defined sensor configuration and level of performance that helps catapult proficiency in understanding the world around the car.
Platform 3.0 has a very sensor-rich package that makes it one of the most perceptive automated driving test cars on the road.
The Luminar LIDAR system with 200-metre range, which had only tracked the forward direction on TRI’s previous test platform, now covers the vehicle’s complete 360-degree perimeter.
This is enabled by four high-resolution LIDAR scanning heads, which precisely detect objects in the environment including notoriously difficult-to-see dark objects.
Shorter-range LIDAR sensors are positioned low on all four sides of the vehicle – one in each front quarter panel and one each on the front and rear bumpers.
These can detect low-level and smaller objects near the car like children and debris in the roadway.
The new platform remains flexible for incorporating future breakthrough technology as it becomes available.
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