Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will show its next-generation automated driving research vehicle, Platform 3.0, at CES next week in Las Vegas. The new platform, which is built on a Lexus LS 600hL, combines greater technological capabilities with new harmonized styling that integrates the automated vehicle technology into the LS model’s design. It will be on display in Toyota’s CES exhibit.
TRI approached development of a new research platform with three core principles: (1) Elevate perception capabilities to be an industry pacesetter among automated vehicles; (2) Blend the sensing equipment into the vehicle design with a distinct appearance that is sleek and elegant; (3) Package the automated vehicle technology in a manner that is easy to reproduce for building a fleet at scale.
More defined sensor configuration and level of performance that helps catapult proficiency in understanding the world around the car.
Platform 3.0 has a very sensor-rich package that makes it one of the most perceptive automated driving test cars on the road. The Luminar LIDAR system with 200-meter range that covers the vehicle’s complete 360-degree perimeter. This is enabled by four high-resolution LIDAR scanning heads, which precisely detect objects in the environment including notoriously difficult-to-see dark objects.
Shorter-range LIDAR sensors are positioned low on all four sides of the vehicle – one in each front quarter panel and one each on the front and rear bumpers. These can detect low-level and smaller objects near the car like children and debris in the roadway. The new platform remains flexible for incorporating future breakthrough technology as it becomes available.
TRI engaged the expertise of CALTY Design Research in Ann Arbor, Mich. and engineers at Toyota Motor North America Research and Development (TMNA R&D) to compact and conceal the sensors and cameras. They created a new rooftop weather and temperature proof panel, cleverly using available space in the sunroof compartment to minimize the overall height.
Production of Platform 3.0 vehicles begins this spring. The Prototype Development Center at TMNA R&D headquarters in York Township, Michigan, which has expertise in low volume, specialized production, will create Platform 3.0 cars from stock Lexus LS models. Production volume is intentionally low to allow for continued flexibility.