Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) is gearing up for four additional research projects to join the nine announced in April as part of a five-year, $30 million commitment to road safety and safe mobility options.
The new projects aim to help the industry better understand human driving behavior, as well as ways to integrate medical technology and crash protection for a diverse population of physical characteristics, according to the manufacturer.
Some of the new projects could ultimately provide insights that help fleet operators and commercial drivers in the future. For example, one project will focus on how to help predict when a driver is at risk of incapacitation or illness before it becomes an emergency. Researchers will use hospital and naturalistic driving data to investigate physiologic and behavioral signatures that may indicate impending sudden medical emergencies in order to enhance options for early intervention.
A second project will explore technologies that can help prevent impaired drivers from endangering themselves or others. Evaluating driver monitoring systems will be key to this study. Researchers will recruit and evaluate volunteers in a simulator to test the feasibility of using existing in-vehicle technologies for detecting driving impairment due to alcohol and cannabis in a controlled setting.
The other two new projects include a study of human diversity in injury biomechanics and a study on how to more effectively pass the operation of the vehicle between the driver and automation.
CSRC will continue to collaborate with the University of Virginia, University of Michigan Medical School, University of California San Diego, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Iowa State University, and University of Wisconsin-Madison through these new projects.
In 2011, Toyota created CSRC to advance traffic safety for the industry and society through open partnerships with universities, hospitals, and other institutions. From 2011-2022, CSRC has received $85 million for foundational safety research, including development of tools and testing procedures related to the efficacy of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and research into human factors on vehicle safety. To date, CSRC has undertaken 98 research projects with more than 30 different institutions.