Toyota Research Institute (TRI) showcased its new accelerated concepts program in active safety at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, Calif., according to a press release on Nov. 15.
TRI's Human Interactive Driving (HID) team aims to make driving both safer and more enjoyable by incorporating high autonomy and high driver engagement. The team has developed technologies under three research pillars: Human-Focused Learning, Driver Vehicle Performance and Safety, and Shared Autonomy.
During the event, journalists had the opportunity to ride in a self-driving Toyota Supra and a fully autonomous Lexus LC500, demonstrating the ability to avoid obstacles at high speeds. They also tested TRI's custom-built Global Research Innovation Platform (GRIP), a research vehicle with four-wheel steering and in-wheel electric motors, which enables rapid iteration of driving research. TRI's AI-powered, track-driving coach was also demonstrated in a simulator, providing real-time natural language instruction based on the journalists' current actions. The coach used a chatbot interface to provide feedback and tips on how to improve.
According to TRI CEO Gill Pratt, safety is a top priority for the institute, and its human-centered approach is discovering better, safer ways for humans and AI to collaborate. By amplifying people with AI, TRI aims to help drivers gain mastery over their skills and become better, safer drivers.