The development of autonomous driving capabilities and home-care robots are areas the recently created Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is exploring, and in an interview TRI's Jim Adler discusses how the automaker is teaching cars to self-drive.
Adler notes machines are trained by example, so it logically follows to study driver behavior as a template for self-driving systems. "If you think about data, there are at least three different areas that are important," Adler says. "One is the technology, which tends to get a lot of the attention. But, there's also this data governance and...the data policies."
He says Toyota currently is culling on-vehicle data, but he notes off-vehicle data also is an important component. "You want, at this stage, as much on-vehicle data as you can get, and you want to understand your environment as well as possible to do things like understand how you should drive and understand what the road conditions are," he says.
Adler also sees similarities in the development of robots TRI is investigating in terms of the information they need and behaviors they must learn, including social cues and responses. He says Toyota's rollout of autonomous-driving features will be incremental, with driver-assist technologies coming first and accumulating and evolving until vehicles are fully autonomous.
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