The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is building its own private test track for autonomous vehicle research to recreate high-risk driving situations that it considers too dangerous to perform on public roads.
These “edge case scenarios” will be part of the work done at the new 60-acre facility in Michigan, USA. TRI will have exclusive use of the site at the Michigan Technical Resource Park (MITRP) when it becomes operational in October.
“By constructing the course ourselves, we can design it around our unique testing needs and rapidly advance capabilities, especially with the Toyota Guardian automated vehicle mode,” said Ryan Eustace, TRI Senior Vice President of Automated Driving.
“This new site will give us the flexibility to customise driving scenarios that will push the limits of our technology and move us closer to conceiving a human-driven vehicle that is incapable of causing a crash.”
The course will be built on the infield of MITRP’s 1.75-mile oval test track, replicating congested urban streets, slick surfaces and a multi-lane road with high=speed entry and exit slip roads. TRI will be responsible for the site’s design, construction and maintenance. It will also have access to the oval track and other on-site facilities.
The new site expands TRI’s closed-course testing capabilities, adding to the partnerships already in place with GoMomentum Station in California and Mcity and the American Centre for Mobility in Michigan.
The MITRP site has been a vehicle proving ground since 1968 when it was created by a tier-one automotive supplier. The 336-acre technology park was sold to a private developer in 2010, and it now operates as a venue available to the automotive, commercial vehicle and mobile off-highway vehicle builders and component suppliers for testing and advanced engineered technology development.