Toyota launches new research on future vehicle technologies

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Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) has launched a sweeping set of new research programs studying the opportunities and addressing the challenges of emerging vehicle technologies, with an emphasis on the integration of connected and autonomous systems.

The 11 new projects, launched in partnership with eight leading academic research institutions in the USA, mark the first projects launched under CSRC Next, the Center’s new five-year program to support a safer transition to future mobility models. The research projects will focus on the impact of advanced technology on broader road safety trends and the interaction between humans and machines.

Specific challenges include the integration of advanced active safety systems, such as automatic emergency braking, and passive systems, human experience design for advanced technology vehicles, driver state detection, and using analytics to improve the study of naturalistic driving data.

Since its launch in 2011, CSRC has launched and completed 44 research projects with 23 partner universities, publishing more than 200 papers, and presenting at multiple industry conferences. CSRC projects have made meaningful contributions to automotive safety, including research into human factors on vehicle safety and the efficacy of active and passive safety systems, as well as the collection of driving data and development of new tools to analyze that data.

Launched in January, CSRC Next builds on the insights gained from the program’s first five years and will direct US$35m toward safety research into advanced vehicle technologies, including both connected and autonomous systems. CSRC Next will continue to support ongoing research programs at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Toyota Connected (TC) to help accelerate the development of connected and autonomous driving technologies and services.

The new projects will follow four research tracks:

• The potential integration of advanced active and passive safety systems, using advanced pre-crash sensors to improve and personalize crash protection;

• Building research models to help understand and strengthen the driver-vehicle relationship, and support the social acceptance of advanced vehicle technologies;

• Studying driver state detection, working to improve mobility using metrics for physiology and health;

• Applying big data and safety analytics techniques to develop algorithms and tools to study naturalistic driving data.

“Autonomous and connected vehicle technologies are only just beginning to transform the transportation landscape,” said Chuck Gulash, director of CSRC. “By working together with world-renowned institutions and making our results public, we are proud to help realize the promise of advanced mobility solutions and a safe, convenient transportation future.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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