Toyota Research Institute to Open New Driverless Car Test Bed in MI

Toyota Research Institute to Open New Driverless Car Test Bed in MI

Toyota Research Institute to Open New Driverless Car Test Bed in MI

The new facility is located in the Michigan Technical Resource Park (MITRP) in Ottawa Lake.

Toyota Motor Corp is going all-in on autonomous vehicles, on Thursday announcing plans to open a center this year to test driving scenarios too unsafe to perform on public roads. The research facility will simulate and construct congested city environments, slick roads, and highways with high-speed entrance and exit ramps - everything needed for a self-driving proving ground.

Toyota hopes to use its MI facility to develop a new autonomous vehicle that is "incapable of causing a crash", although safety campaigners may question if it is possible to ideal the technology outside of real-word environments.

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Toyota says it plans to use the site to safely replicate driving scenarios that are too risky for public roadways, and will include elements like urban congestion, slick surfaces, and a four-lane divided highway with high-speed on and off ramps.

Even if Toyota is moving forward with its autonomous program, Uber is still paused, as federal investigators assess how 49-year-old Elaine Herzberg was fatally hit by an autonomous vehicle while crossing a road.

The facility will be designed inside the park's 1.75-mile oval test track, and TRI also will have access to other on-site facilities and services.

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"By constructing a course for ourselves, we can design it around our unique testing needs and rapidly advance capabilities, especially with Toyota Guardian automated vehicle mode", Ryan Eustice, TRI senior vice president of automated driving, said in a statement.

The automaker revealed the plans in a Thursday morning, May 3 news release, and said that construction of the closed-course facility is underway.

Toyota has existing partnerships in the field of automated driving with GoMentum Station in California and Mcity and the American Center for Mobility in MI.

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