Toyota Looks Pretty Smart Right Now On Autonomous Vehicles

All of which makes Toyota’s strategy on smart cars the smartest one around. For years it’s been pursuing Guardian—a project at the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) focused on making human driving smarter and safer. Gill Pratt, the CEO of TRI (and a former professor at Babson’s sister school, Olin College of Engineering), has emphasized the safety theme for several years now…

Pratt and TRI are still working on both Guardian and Chauffeur—they are project names now and not just adjectives. Toyota came out of the closet a bit on Guardian at the 2019 CES, where a press release described a “blended envelope control” approach to improving safety. The details remain to be revealed, but it sounds like a “drive by wire” situation where you provide inputs to the car’s computers. Say, for example, a driver intends a left turn against traffic that’s initiated by a turn signal and a leftward move of the steering wheel, and the car replies, “I don’t think so.”