Sat, May 05, 2018 - Page 10 News List

Toyota to build unique test track for self-driving cars

AFP, DETROIT, Michigan

Toyota Motor Corp is going all-in on autonomous vehicles, on Thursday announcing plans to open a center this year to test driving scenarios too dangerous to perform on public roads.

The test center, which would be operated by the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), would be built in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, outside Detroit and not far from Toyota’s engineering center, the company said in a statement.

“By constructing a course for ourselves, we can design it around our unique testing needs and rapidly advance capabilities,” TRI senior vice president of automated driving Ryan Eustice said in a statement.

“This new site will give us the flexibility to customize driving scenarios that will push the limits of our technology and move us closer to conceiving a human-driven vehicle that is incapable of causing a crash,” he said.

Automakers have begun to test autonomous or automated vehicles on public roads in the US, but have become more cautious in the wake of a fatal crash in Arizona of a self-driving car operated by Uber Technologies Inc’s research unit.

The test center is due to open in October on a 24.3-hectare site with plans to include congested urban environments, slick surfaces and a four-lane divided highway with high-speed entrance and exit ramps. The company did not disclose the cost of the project.

Toyota said it would continue to test autonomous vehicles at two other test tracks near Detroit, which include real-world driving situations.

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