Toyota is making some game-changing moves that could potentially save countless lives from vehicle crashes. The king of the auto world is investing in nine projects that are all related to vehicle safety. The company is doing this in collaboration with different educational institutions.
The projects vary in nature – some are to develop new technologies, while others are to gather data on traffic safety. Either way, the results of all of these projects are to be shared with the other automotive manufacturers. It is a great initiative by Toyota and it can do wonders for automotive safety.
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Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC)
As the name suggests, this is Toyota’s center for conducting safety research. These are to make its cars safer for the consumers. The center does the research and in good faith, it also shares its results with the rest of the automakers, even if they’re Toyota’s rivals.
Their recently announced plan will have a funding of $30 million over 5 years. The success of these 9 projects will not only improve automotive and pedestrian safety. But it will also take us closer to the idea of fully autonomous vehicles when the AI will become smarter than ever.
The 9 Game-Changing Toyota Safety Research Projects
So, what are the areas in question? Well, the following are the 9 new research projects that’ll take place over 5 years:
Tailored Training Based on Driver’s Self-Perceptions and Knowledge
What’s the point of safety tech if the user’s unaware of it? This one’s a project aimed at educating the average misinformed consumer about the usage of safety tech. The lab rats will do this with a combo of simulations, plus observational techniques. The study shall take place in UMass Amherst.
Risk-Anticipation Training to Enhance Novice Driving
Toyota aims to develop some new technology that’ll make driving safer for novices. It wants to create a tool that’ll help the average beginner driver identify hazards on the road better. Another UMass Amherst project, it’ll use a newly developed software for more effective scanning of threats.
Caregivers’ Attitudes Towards Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke Risks and Solutions
This is not the development of some new tech. However, it is a research project to observe parents/caregivers’ carefulness when their child is at risk of heatstroke. The researchers will analyze their attitudes to improve the preventative measures in place. This data can benefit future safety software.
Library Of Real World and Simulated Corner Cases for VRU Crashes and Interactions
This program will exist to study and hence improve VRU safety in AVs. These are the Vulnerable Road Users who’re susceptible to hits by cars. The group’s made up of pedestrians and cyclists. The various factors and scenarios regarding their safety will be studied in this UMDearborn project.
Evolving Characteristics of Non-Driving Activities
This one’s aimed at improving the L2 autonomous driving systems. The project will observe how the non-driving activities change when the driver is driving an L2 car autonomously. The data obtained from this MIT project will help us advance to a higher level of driving autonomy.
Quick Response Consumer Education Needs and Over-The-Air Updates
These software updates are commonplace in today’s vehicles. But what about the ones related to safety tech? Well, Toyota and the University of Iowa will work together to educate the consumers about their new safety updates. This will help them use the safety enhancements properly.
Driver Evasive Action Trends in Intersection Crashes
This is a well-needed technology and Toyota (along with Virginia Tech) is finally doing something about it. Thousands of accidents happen at intersections and this project will analyze the different driving habits that can cause these. As a result, they’ll develop new drivers’ assist tech to stop them.
Predicting Behavior of Vulnerable Road Users
While the aforementioned VRU project is for autonomous drivers; this one’s for everyone. It is to collect data that predicts how VRUs behave on the road. The info gained will benefit and improve all types of new drivers’ assist tech. This research will take place at an Indiana and Purdue joint venture.
Equity In Crash Protection: Considering Human Variation for Assessing Injury
This project will look at the various factors involved that will cause an injury to the chest. It is focused on improving crash protection methods by analyzing what exactly causes the injury. This project by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute will look at males and females separately.