VIDEO: Toyota's Two Vehicle Automation Modes 

Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has signed an agreement with GoMentum Station, a 5,000-acre autonomous vehicle testing facility in Concord, Calif., to evaluate the automaker’s self-driving vehicle technology.

The partnership, managed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), enables TRI to expand closed-course testing of its two-prong approach to vehicle automation — Guardian and Chauffeur.   

TRI recently demonstrated Platform 2.1, its new advanced safety research vehicle that allows for the testing of both Guardian and Chauffeur in a single vehicle.

In the Guardian approach, the human driver maintains vehicle control. The automated driving system operates in the background, monitoring for potential crash situations. The system can intervene to protect vehicle occupants when needed.

Chauffeur is TRI’s version of full vehicle autonomy. All occupants are passengers since the car drives itself. 

Both approaches use the same technology stack of sensors and cameras. 

TRI will use GoMentum Station for further testing of Platform 2.1, which includes a new high-fidelity LiDAR system that provides a longer sensing range, a much denser point cloud to better detect positions of three-dimensional objects, and a field of view that is dynamically configurable.

Near TRI research headquarters in Los Altos, Calif., GoMentum Station augments TRI’s public road testing with testing of extreme driving events too risky to conduct on public roads. GoMentum’s varied terrain — and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots — provides the environment needed to accelerate testing of the “difficult miles” needed to advance both Guardian and Chauffeur, Toyota said.  

“The addition of GoMentum Station to TRI’s arsenal of automated vehicle test locations allows us to create hazardous driving scenarios for advancing capabilities of both Guardian and Chauffeur and further develop our technology,” said Ryan Eustice, TRI vice president of autonomous driving.