The public will have a chance to take a ride in one of Toyota’s Level-4 automated vehicles in Japan next summer.
Rides will be given from July to September in Tokyo’s busy Odaiba district, a congested waterfront subcenter with a complex environment that includes diverse road infrastructure and tall glass buildings, along with plenty of vehicle traffic and pedestrians, according to a news release.
During the rides, Toyota’s P4 will demonstrate its “Chauffeur” SAE Level-4 capabilities in a specific “mobility as a service” (MaaS) driving environment. Anyone interested can register for the experience, and from there individuals will be selected to participate. A safety driver will be in the vehicle during the rides, per Japanese law.
“By challenging ourselves to successfully operate autonomously in Odaiba, we have set a high bar that requires us to rapidly expand the capabilities of our technology in a short amount of time,” Toyota Research Institute CEO Gill Pratt said, according to the release. “To accomplish that, we are working closely with the Advanced R&D Division of Toyota Motor Corporation and Toyota Research Institute-Advanced Development (TRI-AD) based in Tokyo, who is responsible for bringing the P4’s automated driving software to the public.”
The P4 test vehicle is based on the fifth-generation Lexus LS sedan. It’s been tested at TRI’s closed-course test facility in Michigan. Further testing of P4 software is being performed on public roads in Odaiba and around TRI’s Ann Arbor, Mich. and Los Altos, Calif. research offices. The vehicle is being used in TRI’s research and development of both “Toyota Guardian™” active safety and “Chauffeur” automated driving applications.