The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Toyota's New Driving Simulator to Aid Development of Active Safety Technology

November 27, 2007

TOKYO, Japan --- Toyota Motor Corp. announced it has developed a driving simulator that analyzes the driving characteristics of average drivers to aid in the development of active safety technology. The driving simulator is located at Toyota's Higashifuji Technical Center in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture, in Japan. The simulator uses video, an acceleration simulator and other technology to conduct driving tests that would be too dangerous or too complicated to stage in the real world, according to a report from JCN Newswire. This virtual reality is made possible using an actual vehicle placed on a platform housed inside a 7.1-meter-diameter dome. The dome ceiling serves as a giant 360-degree concave video screen. While the driver operates the vehicle, a tilt device, vibration apparatus and other devices manipulate the dome, which has a longitudinal range of movement of 35 meters and lateral range of movement of 20 meters under precision computer control. All this produces a faithful simulation of the actual sensation of driving, including the look and feel of speed, acceleration and riding comfort through turns and other driving maneuvers. Sound effects make the experience even more lifelike. Toyota plans to use the driving simulator to advance research and development for on-board vehicle safety systems and systems that support safe driving practices. The driving simulator will also analyze driving characteristics under such conditions as driver fatigue or drowsiness, inattentiveness and inebriation. Data compiled will help develop new active safety technology and verify the effectiveness of existing technology.
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