Toyota to Show P4 Autonomous Car Based on the Lexus LS at CES 2019

A few years back, Toyota announced a massive investment in the research for autonomous vehicles. This research was to be conducted by the carmaker’s Research Institute (TRI), an entity established in North America in 2015.
Toyota P4 Lexus LS 5 photos
Photo: Toyota
Toyota P4 Lexus LSToyota P4 Lexus LSToyota P4 Lexus LSToyota P4 Lexus LS
In the years that have passed since its creation, TRI has already come up with various autonomous systems, tested through the years on various vehicles. In 2019, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the latest evolution of those systems will be shown.

Called TRI-P4, the system has been deployed in a Lexus LS, a vehicle chosen because of its chassis and steering control technology which Toyota says provide “greater agility and allows for more responsive and smoother maneuvers during automated driving.”

The new interpretation of the system builds on the previous Platform 3.0 but adds a few extras meant to make it more capable than ever before.

The P4 has two additional cameras to improve situational awareness, located on the sides of the car, as well as new imaging sensors that point both forwards and to the rear. The radar system has been improved as well, to make it better at close range detection, while LIDAR has remained pretty much the same as before.

The P4 is powered by a new chip technology that can “operate more machine learning algorithms in parallel for faster learning.” The chip uses the vehicle’s hybrid battery to get the power it needs, while the 12v battery usually used for this task now takes the role of backup.

The reconfiguration of the system’s hardware in the Lexus LS – the computer box now sits in the trunk, tucked vertically against the rear seat – allows for clearing the entire floor of the trunk to be used for hauling cargo.

Toyota says the P4 will enter production this spring, and will then head for the company’s Guardian and Chauffeur automated driving testing programs.

Toyota did not say how much longer the research into developing a viable system will last.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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