Toyota Offers AI-Enabled Crash Avoidance Tech To Rivals Amid Auto Safety Push At CES

Toyota has argued that self-driving car technology still has lots of hurdles to clear before it’s ready for widespread consumer use, but that the artificial intelligence and sensor research going into it can be leveraged earlier to cut down on crashes. As it moves toward introducing that capability for its own vehicles, the auto giant wants to provide it to rivals to help make roads safer.

Rather than drive the car autonomously, the purpose of the company’s “Guardian” system that’s been in development for the past two years is to actively monitor road conditions and driver awareness and step in when needed to brake, swerve or accelerate through dangerous circumstances, the company said at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Silicon Valley-based Toyota Research Institute that’s working on perfecting both this system and Toyota’s self-driving tech, didn’t say precisely when Toyota cars will start getting Guardian capability but said that it’s on the way.

“We believe in it so much, we would like to see it on every car on the road, not just Toyotas,” Pratt said at Toyota’s press conference on Monday. “And today we are announcing that we will offer it to the industry.”

TRI has already “had talks with many different players” about the system, Pratt said, without elaborating. Likewise, Toyota hasn’t yet figured out whether it would license the technology to other companies or even provide the needed hardware or software required. “What we are willing to say is that we will not keep it proprietary to ourselves only,” he said.

Whether Toyota’s rivals in the highly competitive auto industry actually take up its offer remains to be seen. More than a decade ago, Toyota offered to provide the hybrid-electric powertrain system developed for the Prius to competitors but found few takers beyond its affiliated companies.

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Source from: MERatings