1. Innovation
  2. Zero Accidents
  3. Automated Driving

Automated Driving

People and technology can team up to realise ever safer mobility
First and foremost, Toyota is committed to automated driving because the technology could prevent crashes caused by human error. Toyota’s approach to automated driving includes Mobility Teammate Concept, Chauffeur and Guardian™, to realise mobility that is safe, accessible and convenient.

Mobility Teammate Concept

Toyota has been engaged in active safety and automated driving technology since the 1990s, with the primary goal of eliminating traffic casualties. We are advancing our development with Mobility Teammate Concept. It’s built on the belief that people and vehicles can work together to make mobility safe, convenient, efficient and fun. People should have choices, and technology can amplify rather than replace human capability. Instead of removing human engagement, we want people to enjoy the freedom and joy of driving if they choose, while benefiting from automated driving capabilities when they need or wish. 

What’s behind Teammate?

A car is more than a means of transportation. Our connection with “my car” deepens as it meets our mobility needs and reflects our unique tastes. We believe that people will not stop loving “my car” even in a future where some driving is automated. Depending on experience, knowledge, age, medical conditions or simple fatigue, your driving ability can change from moment to moment. Or, you may want a sporty driving style in some situations and a smooth ride in others. Our automated driving technologies meet these shifting needs while helping to support safety regardless of the driver’s condition. 

Chauffeur and Guardian

Through vehicle automation, we want to realise mobility that is safe, accessible and convenient for all. For these goals, we are pursuing two concepts. For those who cannot or choose not to drive, Chauffeur technology enables a vehicle to drive on its own. We are also developing Toyota Guardian™, where the driver and an AI system share roles, taking advantage of individual skills. Guardian constantly monitors the environment and steps in to amplify the driver’s capabilities when a collision or other safety risk is imminent. This is not done by braking alone but by using the full range of driving actions.   

Why Guardian?

You may wonder why Toyota develops Guardian on top of Chauffeur. Chauffeur technology will make a meaningful impact on the lives of people who cannot or do not wish to drive. But its development faces significant technical and social challenges that will take time to address.

For this reason, many deployments of Level 4-equivalent systems are operating test cars in highly limited conditions, such as low-speed, light traffic, fewer pedestrians or cyclists, fair weather, etc. We are designing Guardian to avoid many of these constraints. With Guardian, we can introduce higher levels of driver assistance into production vehicles and evaluate safety benefits of automated driving sooner. Guardian can also build trust and acceptance for highly automated technology. 

Automated or Autonomous? 

With the rise of new technologies that can do some or all driving tasks, a host of terms have entered the market, such as “automated,” “highly automated,” “semi-” and “partially autonomous,” “self-driving,” and “driverless,” to name a few.

We believe it is important to describe functions accurately based on their actual performance, because it may impact customers’ expectations and understanding about what their car can do. Toyota uses the word “automated” to describe a wide range of technology that augments or replaces human control during some period of time. We say “autonomous” if an automated system can completely take over driving – essentially replacing the driver – during a period of time or even indefinitely.

Automation beyond safety 

Beyond their core safety benefits, automated driving systems can help make traffic smoother and more efficient. This could bring meaningful improvements: better air quality through reduced emissions, and better quality of life for drivers through shorter and more predictable travel times.

More people could experience the joy of mobility. We believe the technology behind automation will bring sweeping benefits and mobility solutions extending far beyond cars and trucks. Toyota is leveraging its research in automated driving to create new mobility solutions, such as robots with enhanced perception, reasoning and manipulation that can offer expanded freedom of movement for all, including people with limited mobility.