Toyota Research Institute, the American branch of one of the largest automakers in the world, introduced the newest version of its test of an unmanned vehicle. As the base model LS 600hL, equipped with LIDAR, radar, and multiple cameras. This Toyota showed last year, but this time they presented the improved version, which at the research Institute of the automaker calls a “Platform 3.0”. The car is going to exhibit at the upcoming international consumer electronics show CES in 2018, which will soon open its doors.
Perhaps, the main feature of an improved model of an unmanned vehicle of Toyota is its ability to “see” their environment much further compared to the previous version. Thanks to the four distance measuring sensors LIDAR from the company Luminar installed on the roof of the car, the car is now capable of scanning everything in a radius of 200 meters, which, according to Toyota, makes it “one of the most insightful test of unmanned vehicles on the road.”
For example, the most powerful LIDAR system of the company Velodyne, HDL-64E, are able to see within a radius of 120 meters, while its most widely used system VLP-16 Puck is able to see only 100 meters. By the way, to attract new customers and faster to integrate the technology into the market, Velodyne recently half reduced the cost of their system VLP-16.
Externally a self-governing “Lexus” is also freshened. Now the integration of the equipment necessary for the operation of an unmanned mode, it looks not so catchy as it was with the previous version. Toyota engineers Research Institute say that its updated appearance, the vehicle required a design Studio Toyota CALTY Design Research, as well as experts from the North American division of research and development of the company:
“They created a new panel for roof protection from weather and temperature effects, significantly reducing the complexity of the entire system and very intelligently using the space inside the hatch. This allowed to minimize the overall height of the system.”
Toyota is going to start production of the “Platform 3.0” in the spring of this year. The vehicles will be collected with the optional steering (like previous version).
Experts note that Toyota now like anyone else would be interested in providing information about their progress in the development of unmanned vehicles. According to the latest report of the research company Navigant, the Japanese automaker at the moment is behind such companies as Ford, General Motors, Daimler and BMW on track to release the first truly full-fledged self-driving cars. Recall that many automakers have set a goal to release a driverless car by 2021. According to the portal The Verge, the new Navigant report should appear later this month, so it is very interesting how Toyota has been able to advance in the leaderboard.
In addition, various sources note that some of the large automakers have already signed agreements with all the cool and high-tech companies like Waymo, Uber and Lyft, making the process of adaptation of unmanned vehicles on public roadways must occur even faster than expected. Unfortunately, for the same Toyota all this time, most of these transactions passed by. But if the company will not stand still, and she can bite off their part of the action, experts say.