Toyota has launched the latest iteration of its automated test vehicles in the Toyota TRI-P4, a full-size sedan based on the fifth-generation Lexus LS flagship sedan. Developed by Toyota Research Institute, the vehicle will be used in development testing as part of the division’s two-track Guardian and Chauffeur automated driving programs. The latter is focused on full autonomy, while the former is seen as more of an assist for human drivers.

The P4 vehicle, which was unveiled ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, will join TRI’s test fleet this spring. Among the new features of this latest prototype are two additional side cameras to boost situational awareness of the driver in the Guardian mode, while two new sensors, one forward and the other rear facing, will be used to enhance autonomous operation for the Chauffeur test program.

The P4 will use the LIDAR sensing system from previous prototypes, which includes eight scanning heads. TRI says the P4 is a smarter research vehicle with more computing power which incorporates more machine learning algorithms. This additional capability will allow the vehicle to process data and react quicker to the surrounding environment.  

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