Toyota launches CSRC Next to study autonomous vehicle technologies


Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) launched the next phase of its research mission, named CSRC Next, will focus on the challenges and opportunities of autonomous and connected vehicle technologies over the next decade.

First announced in 2014, CSRC Next will direct $35 million through 2021 towards research designed to support a safe transition to the future of mobility. Projects will follow four research tracks:

1. The potential integration of active and passive safety systems, using advanced pre-crash sensors to improve and personalize crash protection

2. Building advanced technology vehicle user experience models for individuals and society in order to improve usability and strengthen the driver-vehicle relationship;

3. Studying driver state detection, working to improve mobility using metrics for physiology and health and,

4. Applying big data and safety analytics techniques to develop algorithms and tools to study naturalistic driving data.

At launch, CSRC Next’s research portfolio includes eight projects in partnership with six schools. Examples include work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab to develop new systems for autonomous vehicles to perceive and identify objects in their environment and to understand social interactions in traffic and a research study with Virginia Tech to estimate issues that may arise after Integrated Safety Systems (ISS) are deployed in the future, including all active and passive safety systems.

CSRC is working with the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) and Toyota Connected (TC). CSRC research is helping to accelerate autonomous driving technology development as well as contributing to the exploration of the complex relationship between future mobility and broader social trends.

The beginning of CSRC Next also marks the conclusion of the center’s first five years of automotive safety research, where it explored Human Factors, Active and Passive vehicle safety technologies and Data Analysis and Tools development.

CSRC has launched and completed 44 research projects with 23 partner universities, publishing more than 200 papers and presenting at multiple industry conferences. And while CSRC research has helped improve the safety of Toyota vehicles—for example, enhancing the capabilities of computer crash simulations and improving the tuning of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems—its impact has been much broader. Results have contributed to standards development at international bodies like the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

In addition, CSRC projects have made meaningful contributions to auto safety industrywide, including research into human factors on vehicle safety and the impact of active and passive safety systems as well as the collection of driving safety data and development of new tools to analyze that data.

One of the key beneficiaries of CSRC research has been emergency medicine. A project with the University of Michigan Department of Emergency Medicine’s Center for Integrative Research in Critical Care studied a computational technique for noise-tolerant, robust detection and prediction of severe cardiac events, including Myocardial Infarction and Myocardial Ischemia, inside a vehicle. As part of CSRC Next, the ECG data collected from in-hospital and in-vehicle subjects will be trained with machine learning models to detect and predict the in-vehicle occurrence of cardiac events.

“Another study, in collaboration with the Mind & Brain Health Labs at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, deployed real-time glucose monitoring systems in drivers with insulin-dependent diabetes. The project’s goal was to investigate the feasibility of combining physiologic and driving sensor data to determine the levels and patterns of glucose control that might produce changes in driver behavior and safety in individuals with diabetes.”

Key projects in the CSRC’s first five years include groundbreaking programs to develop test platforms for collision avoidance systems, including one with Indiana University – Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) and The Ohio State University that created advanced test targets for pedestrian pre-collision systems, which feature radar cross-sections that match those of human beings. Another, with MIT, modelled in-vehicle voice command systems and driver behavior.

Source: Toyota


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