Image credit – Toyota Research Institute

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Self-driving cars have been designed to be safe, at least in theory. This is because of all the computers, cameras, and sensors on board, it should be able to detect and predict obstacles and accidents before they happen, thus preventing them by switching lanes, braking, and so on. However in recent times, it has shown that there is still a lot of work left to be done.

This is why the Toyota Research Institute has announced that they are constructing a closed-course test facility to test what they are calling “edge case” driving scenarios for self-driving cars. These scenarios are said to be too dangerous to be tested on public roads, hence the need for a specially-built course.

According to Toyota, the course will feature all kinds of obstacles and situations that will hopefully allow the company to better understand how to improve their tech to overcome them. “The TRI facility will be constructed inside MITRP’s 1.75-mile oval test track. It will include congested urban environments, slick surfaces and a four-lane divided highway with high-speed entrance and exit ramps.”

Ryan Eustice, TRI senior vice president of automated driving adds, “By constructing a course for ourselves, we can design it around our unique testing needs and rapidly advance capabilities, especially with Toyota Guardian automated vehicle mode. This new site will give us the flexibility to customize 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.”

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