Toyota Unveils Next-Generation Self-Driving Platform 3.0 At CES

Autonomous Car

It looks like a Lexus LS with proton pack on its roof, only it's not.

Along with battery technologies, automated driving is the next big thing that’s about to strike, and Toyota fully plans to be an industry leader in both realms. Making its official debut at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), is what Toyota calls Platform 3.0 which, at the moment, is built on a Lexus LS 600hL. Developed by Toyota Research Institute (TRI) with additional help from CALTY Design Research in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Platform 3.0 is packed full of sensors to make it one of the “most perceptive automated driving test cars on the road.”

Its Luminar LIDAR system has a 200-meter range and can cover the entire 360-degree perimeter around the vehicle, scanning for any potential obstacles. The shorter-range LIDAR sensors are placed on all four sides of the car and can detect low-level and smaller objects like children and roadway debris. The rooftop panel, described by Toyota as “intelligent minimalism,” is actually inspired by off-road motorcycle helmets. It integrates into the available space where the sunroof normally is to keep vehicle height to a minimum. It also has chrome along the side where it meets the roofline, and then swoops down to integrate with the C-pillar.

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Toyota says Platform 3.0, which can be adapted for a number of vehicle segments, will begin production this spring at low volumes. Some of the test vehicles will come with the dual-cockpit control layout that allows for the transfer of vehicle control between the human test driver and the automated system while maintaining a safety driver as a backup.