Toyota to offer rides in Level-4 self-driving vehicles on Japan’s public roads in summer 2020

Oct 24, 2019 – Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has announced the launch of demonstration rides using self-driving vehicles of the 4th level of autonomy on public roads in Tokyo from July to September 2020 in the “mobility as a service” mode.

Trials will take place in Tokyo’s Odaiba district, which is busy and often congested. A complex environment of pedestrians, automobile traffic, diverse road infrastructure, and tall glass buildings in Odaiba create difficult conditions to demonstrate the capabilities of Toyota’s automated driving technology. In accordance with Japanese law, a safety driver will secure the entire test rides.

The fourth level of autonomy, according to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International)’s classification, is a high degree of automation, in which the automatic system takes full control of the vehicle. Tests in the fourth level mode are completely autonomous on specially designated lanes within public roads.

Toyota Research Institute is testing vehicles of this level of autonomy in the United States at its Ottawa Lake, Michigan test site. It reproduces the most difficult infrastructure conditions and driving scenarios that are found in the Odaiba district. Further software testing will be conducted on public roads in Odaiba and around TRI’s research offices in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Los Altos, California.