Toyota Research Institute (TRI) recently hosted an international media event at Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, California, showcasing its latest advancements in AI-assisted driving technology. This event marked a pivotal moment for TRI, as journalists from the US and Europe were given the rare opportunity to experience the functionality of TRI’s research vehicles and simulators firsthand.
Why It Matters
TRI’s focus on integrating artificial intelligence (AI) with human driving skills is a significant step forward in automotive safety and enjoyment. This approach, which emphasizes active safety and high driver engagement, aligns with Toyota’s commitment to enhancing the driving experience while ensuring safety. The showcased technology, including the Driving Sensei concept, reflects a human-centered approach, prioritizing the enhancement of driver skills and performance through AI assistance.
- Human Interactive Driving (HID) Focus: TRI’s HID team is dedicated to active safety, ensuring high driver engagement and autonomy. This initiative aims to make driving safer and more enjoyable by fostering a partnership between the driver and the AI system.
- Driving Sensei Concept: This concept uses AI to assist drivers in mastering driving skills, combining AI-driven instruction with AI-powered driver support. It focuses on improving driver competency while keeping them actively engaged in the driving process.
- Three Research Pillars:
- Human-Focused Learning: Utilizes data-driven techniques to create models of human behavior, ensuring the technology understands and supports drivers effectively.
- Driver/Vehicle Performance and Safety: Aims to enhance driving skills with AI, demonstrated through autonomous driving experiences in vehicles like the Toyota Supra and Lexus LC500.
- Shared Autonomy: This component involves AI and drivers working collaboratively for a safer and more enjoyable driving experience, exemplified by the Global Research Innovation Platform (GRIP) vehicle.
Toyota’s latest AI-assisted driving technology represents a groundbreaking shift in the automotive industry, focusing on amplifying human capabilities rather than replacing them. By prioritizing a human-centered approach, TRI is not only enhancing safety and performance but also redefining the relationship between drivers and AI. This technology has the potential to revolutionize the way we perceive and interact with autonomous vehicles, leading to a future where human skills and AI collaborate to create safer, more enjoyable driving experiences.