Photo courtesy of Toyota/CSRC.

Photo courtesy of Toyota/CSRC.

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) announced five new research projects focused on better understanding how drivers use and respond to advanced vehicle technologies, including automated driver assistance systems.

The new projects, launched in partnership with five U.S. research institutions, are part of CSRC Next — the center’s new five-year program aimed at facilitating a safe transition to future mobility.  

Four of the five research projects will focus on societal acceptance and generate data-driven insights into the use of these technologies. This data can help support their effective integration, foster safer driving behaviors, and offer potential countermeasures to risky driving behavior, according to Toyota.  

“The development of advanced vehicle technologies may be progressing faster than the ability of some people to fully understand their capabilities, and it’s important to identify how drivers actually understand and use these emerging systems,” said Chuck Gulash, director of CSRC. “By working with our partner institutions, and openly sharing our insights with the broader automotive, government, NGO, and technology communities, we believe we can help progress society’s acceptance of these new and promising technologies.”  

The five research projects will launch in partnership with George Mason University, Rockville Institute, University of Washington, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, and San Francisco State University. Data from each project will be shared across the institutions to help speed research, with the results made public to support industry-wide advancement of auto safety. 

Launched in May, CSRC Next builds upon the insights gained from the CSRC’s first five years directing $35 million toward safety research into advanced vehicle technologies. CSRC Next also supports ongoing research programs at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Toyota Connected (TC) to help accelerate the development of automated and connected driving technologies and services.  

Since its launch in 2011, CSRC has initiated 60 research projects with 26 partner universities, publishing more than 200 papers and presenting at multiple industry conferences.

The project with George Mason University will focus on determining, through neuroergnomic methods, how different factors affect mental model development and evolution of advanced safety technologies. The project with Rockville Institute will involve determining how users develop and maintain mental models as automated vehicle safety technologies become integrated into vehicles.

The project with the University of Washington will develop analytical models that can capture and identify driver performance changes that mitigate risk. The project with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute involves creating a set of guidelines that inform development of risky-driving countermeasures. The project with San Francisco University will focus on a form of training that links stimuli to behavioral changes that promote greater driving safety.