Celebrating the successful conclusion of its first five years of automotive safety research Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) in Michigan has formally launched the next phase of its research mission.
Since its launch in 2011, CSRC has collaborated with leading North American universities, hospitals, and research institutions on projects aimed at reducing traffic casualties, and sharing the results publicly, so that all can benefit. In that period, CSRC has launched and completed 44 research projects with 23 partner universities, publishing more than 200 papers and presenting at multiple industry conferences.
Key projects in the CSRC’s first five years include groundbreaking programs to develop test platforms for collision avoidance systems, including one with Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) and The Ohio State University that created advanced test targets for pedestrian pre-collision systems, which feature radar cross-sections that match those of human beings. Another, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), modeled in-vehicle voice command systems and driver behavior.
The new research effort, named ‘CSRC Next’, will focus on the challenges and opportunities of connected and autonomous vehicle (CAV) technologies over the next decade. The program will direct US$35m through 2021 toward research designed to support a safe transition to future mobility concepts, and will follow four tracks:
Potential integration of active and passive safety systems, using advanced pre-crash sensors to improve crash protection;
Building advanced technology vehicle user-experience models to improve usability and strengthen the driver-vehicle relationship;
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.
CSRC Next’s research portfolio includes eight projects in partnership with six academic institutions. Examples include work with MIT’s AgeLab to develop new systems for CAVs to identify objects in their environment and to understand social interactions in traffic; and a study with Virginia Tech to estimate issues that may arise after Integrated Safety Systems (ISS) are deployed.
“The launch of CSRC Next reflects our understanding of the importance of human interaction with emerging and advanced vehicle technologies,” said Chuck Gulash, director of CSRC.
“These highly advanced systems are radically reshaping the transportation landscape, building a relationship between drivers, occupants and vehicles as teammates working together safely and conveniently. We are excited to continue our safety mission by helping to support a safe evolution to a broader mobility future.”