Toyota develops its own automated driving technology

October 11, 2013 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
On the way to automated driving, Toyota takes a shortcut: It combines two existing technologies developed to reduce stress from the driver: A cooperative-adaptive cruise control and a lane assist with active steering.

In contrast to existing Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) systems, Toyota's cooperative-adaptive system communicates with the vehicle in front to keep a safe distance. Towards this end, it establishes a data communications channel in the 700MHz band and exchanges acceleration and deceleration data with the vehicles in front and behind itself. This information edge translates into faster and smoother control action of the cruise control. Since not every vehicle is equipped with a transponder for this purpose, the Toyota system still relies on its own radar sensors.

The lane control unit uses camera images along with radar measurement and a sensor fusion algorithm to identify the correct lane and to keep the vehicle in the centre of the lane at any speed, as Toyota claims. Correcting variables are steer angle, thrust and braking power.

Toyota's new Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA) will be introduced at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress which will take place in Tokyo from October 14 to October 18. The company also is continuing to conduct research on autonomous driving in all situations, including in cities. At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Toyota introduced a research vehicle that identifies other traffic participants, their directional vector and speed and thus can "understand" complex traffic situations as well as road signs.