The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is demonstrating its autonomous technology by splitting it into two groups – Guardian and Chauffeur systems. TRI’s Platform 2.1 test mule has two steering wheels on a single vehicle.
Chauffeur is Toyota’s testing version of SAE Level 4/5 autonomy where the automated system is responsible for all driving tasks, while in Guardian mode, the system acts as a safety net for the human driver to help prevent an accident. In other words, the Guardian mode works with the human driver and takes action if the driver does not react in case of a potentially hazardous situation.
On Platform 2.1, TRI created a second cockpit on the front passenger side with a fully operational haptic drive-by-wire steering wheel and pedals for acceleration and braking. Toyota said that this dual-cockpit setup allows for experimenting the effective methods to transfer vehicle control between the human driver and the autonomous system. It also supports the development of machine learning algorithms that can learn from expert human drivers and provide coaching to novice drivers.
The Platform 2.1 features a high-fidelity LIDAR system, that provides a longer sensing range, a much denser point cloud to better detect positions of three-dimensional objects. Watch the video to understand better.