First Look at Toyota Research Institute Self-Driving Car_o

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As you may well be aware, the automotive industry has been embarking on research and development in the field of autonomous driving for the past few years. In other words, automotive engineers have been working towards self-driving cars by researching and developing a number of other, lead-in technologies. One of the latest instances of this happens to be from the Toyota Research Institute, and they rolled it out at the Prius Challenge Event at Sonoma Raceway a couple of weeks ago.

[ READ MORE: Other Toyota Technology Concepts ]

“This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program.”

– Gill Pratt, CEO, Toyota Research Institute

The new test vehicle will be utilized in researching, testing and exploring a very wide range of different self-driving technologies and features, in the hopes that it will ultimately lead to the first self-driving car. But for now, Toyota is focusing on the Chauffeur and Guardian systems.

TRI Self-Driving Car Exterior View_o

TRI Self-Driving Car Front Fascia_o


Chauffeur is the name given to the fully-autonomous, self-driving technology that TRI is working on. It is the less-developed of the two, but will hopefully help Toyota make that highly sought-after self-driving car.


Guardian, on the other hand, is a high-level safety system filled with driver-assistive features. The system is always monitoring the environment both in and outside of the vehicle so that it might be able to warn the driver of any danger, and ultimately step in if assistance is needed.

“Basically, it is a smart vehicle designed to get smarter over time. It will learn individual driver habits and abilities and will benefit from shared intelligence from other cars as data gathering, sharing and connectivity technologies advance. We believe Guardian can probably be deployed sooner and more widely than Chauffeur, providing high-level driver-assist features capable of helping mitigate collisions and save lives, sooner rather than later.” – Pratt

We’ll keep you posted as more information about these two technologies and any others continue to surface from the Toyota Research Institute camp, so keep checking back if you’re interested in autonomy and self-driving cars. Perhaps one day soon, we’ll see a Toyota Camry without anyone in the driver’s seat.

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