Toyota Plans to Spend Billions on Self-Driving Technology
Self-driving cars are those that are capable of sensing their environment and able to navigate without human in-put. Although fully autonomous cars are not yet with us, the future of these vehicles is telling a very interesting story. Assuming all goes on as planned, the future of self-driving cars will be promising. They will be able to reduce the costs associated with hiring drivers to do short distance tasks. The amazing magic of parking themselves and also communicate with each other to keep track of what is happening in the highways.
The automobile industry is undergoing a big transformation in terms of connectivity and mobile services. The whole success is facilitated by the development of high quality software. This is the reason why Toyota established TRI-Toyota Research Institute, Inc. in 2016. This institute was established at the middle of the Silicon Valley. Its main objective was to undertake a comprehensive research in the areas of artificial Intelligence, automated driving and robotics. Since 2006, this institute has made great achievements in the field of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics.
TRI has collaborated with the famous Universities in the world in order to complete their tasks in research. They have since partnered with Stanford University, University of Buffalo, University of Connecticut and several other research institutes. Toyota Motor Corporation are well versed with the reality that artificial intelligence is a vital organ of motor technology. They are looking to getting the best from this institute and adopt this technology on their move to develop a self-driving vehicle.
TRI has led the efforts of Toyota to develop an autonomous car so far. The institute has been successful in developing several mules based on the previous generation Lexus LS. Their recent amazing development was fitting the machine with two steering wheels. This was tested to see if the project of passing control between the machines and the human drivers is practical.
The world’s automaker giant is finally into self-driving cars. The company spends millions of dollars on research every year to make this dream a reality. Toyota unveiled to the world that they are investing millions to form a new company that will be dedicated to the research and development of self-driving vehicles. In fact the Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) plans to invest $2.8 billion in an attempt to develop ‘’production quality software’’ for automated vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corporation in partnership with its major suppliers Aisin Seiki co. Ltd and Denso Corporation are now on the same page. They have concluded a memorandum of understanding on joint development of production quality software that will facilitate the process. The three companies will cooperate to put their expertise on one paper and ensure that the project is a success. They are expected to hold further discussions and put down a well-structured terms of the contract.
What Toyota’s Self-Driving Technology Looks Like for Their Company
The company will be focused on accelerating the software development in a very effective manner. Toyota will own 90% of the company. The two partners are required to share the remaining 10% ownership equally. They will also start with a workforce of 300 employees and if the work goes on well, they rise the number to 1,000 employees. This workforce will be made up of foreign staff, staff from Toyota group companies the Aisin and DENSO, TMC and TRI.
The companies are in the process of establishing this company in a site in Tokyo. The place is expected to be competitive in terms of accessibility and recruitment. TRI-AD will be led by Dr. James Kuffner who is currently the TRI Chief Technology Officer. The main objective of TRI-AD is to create a smooth software pipeline from research to commercialization and leverage the capacity to handle data. Dr. Gill Prant the TRI CEO and the Chairman of the TRI-AD board of directors said that the motor giant is known for quality and most effective Toyota Production Systems (TPS). This means that people should have no doubt about the capability of the company to make this project a reality. He was convinced that the company can translate the fundamental ideas of TPS and be able to develop high-tech software. The New Company should push this even further and ensure Toyota achieves the best from these project.
Many automobile companies have ventured into this futuristic technology. The development of effective software to facilitate this process will be a milestone in bringing this into reality. The first thing that Toyota Motor Corporation understands very well is the need to accelerate software development. The company has to hire world-class software engineers in order to facilitate this process. Google and Uber are already in the process of making these autonomous cars and this means that the concept is really hot. They are investing a lot of money and resources towards research and development of software and hardware to facilitate the process.
Some of the companies are partnering in the process of fastening this amazing innovation. In fact Toyota has recently partnered with Uber and they are working tirelessly to ensure this concept is brought to reality. Volvo has also promised to buy the first 24,000 cars that will be fitted with the ride-hail company’s proprietary self-driving technology.
Toyota Debuting Self-Driving Technology at 2018 CES Tech Conference
All these companies are battling big tech companies in the race to be the first to dominate the market for the self-driven vehicles. This is one of the reason why this project is making huge steps in the recent past. Toyota announced that they will bring a sleek prototypical autonomous vehicle to the public soon. They have plans to reveal this magical gadget to the 2018 CES tech Conference. Although this vehicle will not be fully autonomous, it is a huge milestone in the process of developing self-driving vehicles. The company has been cool on the issue of autonomous cars but they have been active with ambitions of launching a fully self-driving car in the near future.
Toyota also unveiled the concept of a self-driven car known as e-Palette. It was made public recently in the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. It was set to explain the concept of autonomous cars to the world. The vehicle will be electric and box-shaped. The largest will be the size of a bus and will be focused to make large deliveries. The smallest will be compact enough to haul through the sidewalks.
The company is testing another prototype system that is set to intervene when it realizes that the driver needs help. It is fully autonomous and hence it is believed to take the control of the car and save the driver against possible accident. This dual mode autonomous driving system is fit with sensors and cameras to ensure that the vehicle will be able to maneuver in the highways and pack itself in a safe place. Both the software and the hardware were developed with one thing in mind, increasing the production and efficiency.
This vehicle is not ready for the market and hence it will remain behind the scenes for an additional time for further developments. However, this is what will give us a huge insight about fully automated self-driven vehicles. Through ‘’intelligent minimization’’ Toyota seems in front of the pack. Toyota designers have fitted some of their vehicles with sensors and cameras already. They have also packaged the automated vehicle components into the rear compartments which is covered by red lights and glows. All these are requisites of self-driven cars.
The company already came up with a LIDER-which shoots out and bounces back to detect objects is another step closer to the self-driven vehicles. LIDER provides an overview of any existing objects in the vehicle’s surrounding in all directions.
Toyota is focused to producing several platform prototypes at their Prototype Development Center- Research and Development headquarters in Michigan. Although there is no set timetable about the times of testing these prototypes, Toyota wants to keep the public aware that they are active in researching and will keep developing until they meet their ultimate goal of developing a self-driven vehicle.
Toyota will design the car in partnership with companies such as Amazon, Pizza Hut, Uber, Didi, and Mazda. Toyota is optimistic that they will start testing it either early 2020s or earlier. Toyota president said that they are trying to revolutionize the traditional cars and develop sustainable mobility.
These vehicles will have countless benefits to the society. They will be very beneficial for businesses. They will allow businesses to deliver goods and receive raw materials at a very low price. They will also be used to transport people, reduce time wastage and costs associated.
These self-driving cars are coming and the questions are many. Will the drivers be willing to cade their vehicles? Will the vehicles be truly safe and will the people be convinced enough to trust their lives on a machine? However, these are the questions we expect to get answered when the technology comes to reality. So we should sit down, relax and wait for the outcomes.
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