Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has signed an agreement with GoMentum Station to test autonomous vehicle technology at the 5,000 acre autonomous vehicle proving grounds located in Concord, California. Managed by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA), this partnership enables TRI to expand closed course testing of its two-prong approach to vehicle automation – Guardian and Chauffeur.
Established in 2015, TRI has made rapid advancements in its research into automated driving and recently demonstrated Platform 2.1, its new advanced safety research vehicle that allows for testing of both Guardian and Chauffeur in a single vehicle. In the Guardian approach, the human driver maintains vehicle control, and the automated driving system operates in the background, monitoring for potential crash situations. It can intervene to protect vehicle occupants when needed. Chauffeur is TRI’s version of full vehicle autonomy where all occupants are passengers as the car drives itself. Both approaches use the same technology stack of sensors and cameras. TRI’s vision is to offer drivers a choice by making vehicles safer and driving both more fun and convenient.
TRI will use GoMentum Station for further testing of Platform 2.1, which includes a new high-fidelity LIDAR system that provides a longer sensing range, a much denser point cloud to better detect positions of three-dimensional objects, and a field of view that is dynamically configurable. With proximity to TRI research headquarters located in Los Altos, Calif., GoMentum Station augments TRI’s public road testing with testing of extreme driving events that are unsafe to conduct on public roads. GoMentum’s varied terrain, and real-life infrastructure including roads, bridges, tunnels, intersections and parking lots provide the environment needed to accelerate testing of the “difficult miles” needed to advance both Guardian and Chauffeur.
“The addition of GoMentum Station to TRI’s arsenal of automated vehicle test locations allows us to create hazardous driving scenarios for advancing capabilities of both Guardian and Chauffeur and further develop our technology,” said Ryan Eustice, TRI vice president of autonomous driving.
The next generation of transportation technology has found its birthplace in the Bay Area with GoMentum Station. Like all cutting edge research efforts, however, great facilities are not enough. Collaboration is critical to fostering innovation. TRI’s work at GoMentum Station will advance research that can drastically improve lives in Contra Costa County and worldwide.
Honda is testing its autonomous car features at the base in Concord, California. The base as many features including various landscapes, railroad tracks, tunnels and a whole street grid formerly used in Word War II for shipping naval munitions. A Bay Area Rapid Transit train runs through the facility.
The 5,000 acre site was closed in 2007 and in being transferred to the city of Concord. It has twenty miles of paved road. The facility is run by the Contra Costa Transportation Authority and is called GoMentum Station. Mercedes-Benz has tested its self-driving cars there, in the past.
Toyota Research Institute is a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor North America under the direction of Dr. Gill Pratt. TRI is based in the United States, with offices in Los Altos, Calif., Cambridge, Mass., and Ann Arbor, Mich.
The Contra Costa Transportation Authority (CCTA) is a public agency formed by Contra Costa voters in 1988 to manage the county’s transportation sales tax program and oversee countywide transportation planning efforts.