Toyota sets the stage for the first Level-4 headed for mass production and acceptance… Someday. Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – October 24, 2019 Autonomous 2020 Lexus LS Toyota today issued a number of statements declaring they have achieved SAE Level-4 Autonomy. Toyota Research Institute (TRI) said that its Platform 4 (P4) will be driven be demoed next summer in Tokyo. The P4 will demonstrate Toyota’s “Chauffeur” SAE Level-4 capabilities in a specific “mobility as a service” (MaaS) driving environment. The P4 uses Lexus’ latest chassis and steering control technology, which was said to provide greater agility, responsiveness and smoother automated driver maneuvers. What makes the Lexus LS P4 standout? Two additional cameras improve situational awareness on the sides and two new imaging sensors – one facing forward and one pointed to the rear. The imaging sensors feature new chip technology with high dynamic range. The radar system has been optimized to improve the field of view including close range detection around the vehicle perimeter. The LIDAR sensing system continues to uses eight scanning heads as the P3 did. According to Toyota, the P4 is a much smarter research vehicle than the previous test bed with more machine learning algorithms in parallel for faster learning. It can process sensor inputs faster and react more quickly to the surrounding environment. All computing system power is now drawn from the vehicle’s hybrid battery with the 12v battery now serving only as a backup. The compute box in the trunk is now tucked vertically against the rear seat transom, folding down to access the circuitry. This frees up the entire floor of the trunk for cargo. TMNA R&D’s Prototype Development Center in York Twp., Mich. will begin fabricating P4 vehicles from stock models this spring. Public Demonstration The P4 experience will take place in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, a busy and often congested waterfront subcenter. Odaiba’s complex environment of pedestrians, vehicle traffic, diverse road infrastructure and tall glass buildings provide a challenging setting in which to demonstrate the capabilities of Toyota’s automated driving technology. The public will be invited to register for the experience, and individuals will be selected to participate. In accordance with Japanese law, a Safety Driver will be present during the experience. Toyota’s Advanced R&D Divisions are responsible for bringing the P4’s automated driving software to the public. TRI has been testing the P4 in the United States at its Ottawa Lake, Michigan, closed-course test facility. There, TRI replicated Odaiba’s most challenging infrastructure characteristics and driving scenarios for which the P4 will have to navigate autonomously. Further testing of P4 software is being conducted on public roads in Odaiba and around TRI’s Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Los Altos, California, research offices. Your future vehicles profile? Introduced at the CES 2019, the P4 test vehicle is based on the fifth-generation Lexus LS sedan. It is being used in TRI’s research and development of both “Toyota Guardian” active safety and “Chauffeur” automated driving applications. The Future is always just around the corner. And that corner is getting closer with every minute that passes.