The Toyota Motor Corporation started talking about the self-driving car development at the beginning of January 2013 when the Lexus LS, developed in Michigan at Toyota Research Institute, was shown for the first time. The car was equipped with the laser system, capable of seeing at 250 feet distance, the radars on a front panel and on each side, and the color cameras capable of seeing traffic lights and other vehicles. Then the Toyota Company declared that it has no intentions to create a completely self-driving car anywhere in the future. The main company’s goal is to create an intellectual system helping the driver with the safest driving.
Nevertheless, at the beginning of October 2015, Toyota gives publicity about its desire to create an autonomous car by 2020. Despite the fact that the company’s new vector claims took place only in 2015, Toyota authorities don’t believe they are lagging behind in a race for the self-driving vehicle development. The company says that its professionals have been studying autonomous driving technology for about 2 last decades.
On October 6, 2015, Lexus, which went around the city at a speed of 37 miles/h for 10 minutes changing lanes and regulating speed without the driver’s touch to a wheel and pedals, was shown to the public.
On November 6, 2015, Toyota declares that it is going to create a new company named Toyota Research Institute Inc. (TRI) planning to invest $1 billion in it within the next 5 years. The artificial intelligence development will be the priority task for this center with the main direction to create autonomous cars and robots-housekeepers.
On March 3, 2017, the Toyota Research Institute showed the new generation driverless car – Lexus LS 600hL. The car is equipped with LIDAR, radar and camera sensors. In general, this vehicle aims at protecting a driver in any dangerous situation and avoiding traffic accidents. Another aim is to study the world around and receive necessary experience for self-driving cars development.
On May 10, 2017, on GPU Technology Conference in San Jose, the CEO of NVIDIA Jensen Huang told that their company would cooperate with Toyota. The result is that Toyota will use Nvidia Drive PX chipsets, possessing colossal computing power, on their cars.
The Toyota Research Institute, a development and research wing of Toyota Motor Corporation in North America, has announced that it would work with 6 companies investigating the blockchain technology to determine its usefulness for self-driving vehicles software. If successfully realized, the project results may be implemented for secure data exchange about car tests, driving, and other aspects important for business and private subjects. It may have an impact on better insurance rates settings.