New Toyota Test Vehicle Paves the Way for Commercialization of Automated Highway Driving Technologies
OREANDA-NEWS. Highway Teammate, a modified Lexus GS, features equipment that enables automated driving on highways from the on-ramp all the way through to the off-ramp. It uses on-board technology to evaluate traffic conditions, make decisions and take action during highway driving. This includes merging onto or exiting highways, maintaining or changing lanes, and maintaining inter-vehicle distances.
To engage automated operation, the driver switches to automated driving after passing through a toll gate and entering a highway on-ramp. Highway Teammate is able to pinpoint its position using highly accurate road map data. It also uses multiple external sensors to recognize nearby vehicles and hazards, and selects appropriate routes and lanes depending on the destination. Based on these data inputs, Highway Teammate then automatically operates the steering wheel, accelerator, and brakes to achieve the appropriate speed and driving lines in much the same way as a person would drive.
By successfully combining recognition and decision-making processes with the ability to take action, Highway Teammate embodies the kind of safety technology that is expected to play a key role in future products. Toyota believes that mobility should mean safety, efficiency and freedom, and is ramping up its research into and development of automated driving technologies, with the goal of launching products based on Highway Teammate by around 2020.