Toyota’s High Stakes Race for the World’s Safest Autonomous Vehicle

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Imagine this is a horse race. Toyota is lined up with Waymo, Tesla, GM, Baidu, Audi/Huawei, and a host of others developing autonomous vehicle (AV) technology. Who do you think wins? Let me rephrase that question. Who do you think will develop the safest and most road-ready AV?

The winner of the AV race will be the one whose vehicle proves to be the safest. When you have an AI robot that represents the peak of mankind’s technological prowess driving around with lives in its hands, as well as tons of expensive tech onboard, it’s not an overstatement to say safety is priority number one.

To begin, autonomous vehicles seek to improve safety by employing the following:

Sense-plan-act robotic paradigm: Multiple AV sensors send sensory data looping through systems at varying speeds.
Advanced maps: An AV uses highly detailed maps and can get map updates via internet.
Light detection and ranging: Lidar provides the system with spatial data on objects based on how long it takes light to reflect back.
V2V communication: For maximum safety, AVs should be able to communicate road condition and traffic data with each other even if they’re not part of the same fleet.  

The AV that wins will have the best sensors …

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