Toyota to Demo Autonomous Mobility Service in Tokyo

Toyota’s research arm will offer rides in a Level 4 autonomous vehicle as part of a demo on Toyota’s vision of shared mobility future.

The scheme will be offered from July-September 2020, with the car driving around Tokyo’s Odaiba district. With Tokyo being one of the world’s most densely populated urban centers, this will certainly offer a challenge to the Level 4 autonomous vehicle, which has been testing at Toyota Research Institute’s (TRI) closed course facility near Ottawa Lake, Michigan. The challenging aspects of Odaiba have apparently been recreated there, including busy vehicle traffic, pedestrians, tall glass-clad buildings, and specific road infrastructure.

This follows similar trials from autonomous vehicle consortium StreetWise, in London, and Renault in Paris.

The public can register for a ride in TRI ‘Platform 4’ Lexus sedan, with individual participants being selected, meaning it won’t be an ‘autonomous taxi’ to rival Waymo’s limited service in Phoenix, Arizona. However, similarly to Waymo’s service, a safety driver will sit behind the wheel to control the vehicle in case of an emergency, in accordance with Japanese law on autonomous vehicles.

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