Toyota's research team is developing a safety system they call the ''guardian angel''. Instead of letting the driver take over when the autonomous car is facing potential danger, the 'guardian' will automatically take control of a vehicle and avoid collision.
According to MIT Technology Review, Toyota is definitely taking a different approach to creating autonomous, self-driving cars of the future, with Toyota Research Institute developing systems unlike those we've seen with world's most innovative developers in the car industry, such as Tesla, or influental tech giants, such as Google, where fully automated driving (in many cases) is either fully engaged or completely turned off.
The Japanese brand is in fact working on a partially autonomous ''guardian angel'' system that would only take over the wheel when dangerous circumstances call for it. Testing of the technology is said to begin soon by putting cars in a gigantic simulator, which is set up in a large research facility in Japan. Reportedly, it is as big as two football fields.
As Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, explained to MIT that the system will work "in the same way that antilock braking and emergency braking work," adding that "there is a virtual driver that is trying to make sure you don't have an accident by temporarily taking control from you." Pratt previously stated that Toyota's self-driving cars will have to test-cover a trillion miles of road before actually going on a real-world roads, so he now hopes the real-world training can be combined with virtual testing grounds to help them achieve their goals sooner.
Toyota, however, isn't exactly giving up on fully autonomous driving. Last year they invested $1 billion into research automated driving, artificial intelligence, and robotics.