At the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), more and more car manufacturers are joining the annual electronics trade show to showcase their latest technologies, and one such manufacturer is Toyota Research Institute (TRI).
Their newest creation is called the P4. While prototype self-driving cars plying American roads aren’t that much of a rarity these days, the P4 is designed to advance the development of two driving technologies that TRI calls Guardian and Chauffeur.
Guardian is meant for assitance, not replace the human driver. It is basically an enhanced version of Toyota’s Safety Sense that is now common in many of Toyota’s vehicles. Chauffeur mode, meanwhile, focuses on fully replacing the human operator.
Using the Lexus LS has enabled TRI to take advantage of the Lexus flagship’s new technologies, allowing for greater agility and smoother yet more responsive maneuvers during fully automated driving.
Improving from the lessons learned from the previous P3 prototype, the P4 uses the same LIDAR system with eight scanning heads. Two additional cameras and two additional imaging sensors facing forward and backwards enhance the system’s capabilities of mapping and scanning the physical world. An improved radar system has also been added for better close range detection.
All the information gathered by these sensors are processed through a more powerful yet smaller and more compact computer that frees up much more trunk space compared to the P3. The new computer enables the P4 to respond quicker, especially in emergency situations.
Expect to see the P4 prototypes plying around US roads soon as production for the P4 will start this spring.