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Toyota to test autonomous vehicle technology at California’s GoMentum station

ABR Staff Writer Published 01 November 2017

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will test its autonomous vehicle technology at GoMentum Station, a 5,000 acre proving ground for self-driving vehicle tech situated in Concord, California.

The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) will manage the partnership, which allows TRI to expand closed course testing of its two-prong approach to vehicle automation, Guardian and Chauffeur. 

TRI, which was established in 2015, recently showcased Platform 2.1, its new advanced safety research vehicle that enables for testing of both Guardian and Chauffeur in a single vehicle.

The new Platform 2.1 is claimed to be an advanced safety research vehicle that can be used for testing of both Guardian and Chauffeur in a single vehicle.

The human driver maintains vehicle control in the Guardian approach. The automated driving system operates in the background, monitoring for potential crash situations.

On the other hand, Chauffeur is Toyota’s full vehicle autonomy version, where all occupants are passengers as the car drives on its own. Both approaches use the similar technology stack of sensors and cameras.

Toyota says that it is researching to develop a system which can be offered to drivers who can choose between making the vehicles safer and driving both more fun and convenient.

As per the agreement, Toyota will use GoMentum Station to further test its Platform 2.1, which includes a high-fidelity LiDAR system that offers longer sensing range, a denser point cloud to better detect positions of 3D objects and a field view that can be configured dynamically.

GoMentum Station is expected to augment Toyota’s public road testing with testing of extreme driving events that are unsafe to conduct on public roads.

GoMentum’s varied terrain and real-life infrastructure includes roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots which offer an environment that is needed to speed up testing of ‘difficult miles’ to advance on its Guardian and Chauffeur driving modes.

TRI autonomous driving vice president Ryan Eustice said: “The addition of GoMentum Station to TRI’s arsenal of automated vehicle test locations allows us to create hazardous driving scenarios for advancing capabilities of both Guardian and Chauffeur and further develop our technology.”

Image: Toyota’s partnership with GoMentum is expected to speed up testing of self-driving vehicles. Photo: Courtesy of Toyota Motor Corporation.