[TMS] Toyota Demos Automatic Driving for 1st Time

Dec 1, 2011
Yoshiro Tsuruhara, Nikkei Automotive Technology
The vehicle used in the demonstration
The vehicle used in the demonstration
[Click to enlarge image]
The vehicle whose driver's seat is empty automatically runs with its steering moving of itself.
The vehicle whose driver's seat is empty automatically runs with its steering moving of itself.
[Click to enlarge image]

Toyota Motor Corp had its first demonstration of automatic driving at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show 2011, which will open for the public from Dec 3 to 11, 2011, in Tokyo.

Currently, the company does not aim to commercialize automatic driving. Its aim is to develop drive assist technologies for reducing the number of traffic accidents to zero.

The demonstration took place on the rooftop of the Conference Wing of the Tokyo Big Sight, where the show took place. The vehicle Toyota used in the demonstration was based on the latest Prius.

Short-range laser radars were mounted on the four corners of the vehicle so that the surroundings of the vehicle can be monitored. Also, a long-range laser radar and a camera were found on the front side of the vehicle.

Furthermore, a GPS (global positioning system) antenna used to determine the current location of the vehicle was mounted on each of the front hood and rear gate. Because of those features, the vehicle can be automatically driven on a predetermined course while avoiding obstacles.

A smartphone was used to summon, start driving and pull over the vehicle. In the demonstration, visitors to the show rode in the rear seat, and the vehicle whose driver's seat was empty automatically ran with its steering moving of itself. This drive can also be experienced during the public open days.