Screen shot of active safety system research work courtesy of Toyota CSRC/YouTube.

Screen shot of active safety system research work courtesy of Toyota CSRC/YouTube.

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced 11 new vehicle technology research projects, launched in partnership with eight leading institutions in North America.

The projects are the first launched under CSRC Next, the center’s new five-year program aimed at supporting a safer transition to the future of mobility. The studies will focus on the impact of advanced technology on broader road safety trends and the interaction between humans and machines, according to CSRC.

Research partners include the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, Virginia Tech, the University of Iowa, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Age Lab, the University of Wisconsin, Indiana University- Purdue University Indianapolis, the University of California at San Diego, and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. 

Challenges include the integration of advanced active safety systems and passive systems, human experience design for advanced technology vehicles, driver state detection, and the use of analytics to help improve the study of naturalistic driving data.  

“Autonomous and connected vehicle technologies are only just beginning to transform the transportation landscape,” said Chuck Gulash, director of CSRC. “By working together with world-renowned institutions and making our results public, we are proud to help realize the promise of advanced mobility solutions and a safe, convenient transportation future.”  

Since its launch in 2011, Michigan-based CSRC has started and completed 44 research projects with 23 partner universities, publishing more than 200 papers and presenting at multiple industry conferences.

CSRC projects have included research into human factors on vehicle safety and the efficacy of active and passive safety systems, as well as the collection of driving data and development of new tools to analyze that data.  

Launched in January 2017, CSRC Next builds upon insights gained from the center’s first five years. The program will direct $35 million toward safety research into advanced vehicle technologies, including both autonomous and connected systems.

CSRC Next will continue to support ongoing research programs at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Toyota Connected (TC) to help accelerate development of autonomous and connected driving technologies and services, according to Toyota.  

CSRC projects will follow four research tracks:  

  • The potential integration of advanced active safety systems and passive safety systems, using advanced pre-crash sensors to improve and personalize crash protection
  • Building research models to help understand and strengthen the driver-vehicle relationship, and to support the social acceptance of advanced vehicle technologies
  • Studying driver state detection, working to improve mobility using metrics for physiology and health
  • Applying big data and safety analytics techniques to develop algorithms and tools to study naturalistic driving data.