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Toyota to carry out self-driving car test in Brussels because city is ‘complex’
Japanese auto manufacturer Toyota will carry out its first European test of a self-driving car in Brussels. Tests have been carried out thus far only in Japan and the US.
For the next 13 months, a Lexus LS will drive itself around the streets of Brussels on a fixed route. There will be both a driver and a technician in the car to make sure the test runs smoothly.
“The goal of this pilot project is to obtain data about human behaviour, which is complex and unpredictable,” explained Gerald Killmann, vice-president of Toyota Motor Europe R&D department. The manufacturer will study “the impact of that behaviour on the demands of the automised drive system”.
Brussels was chosen for just that reason, he said. They want to develop the car “to be able to react to the complexity and the population diversity in a city like Brussels, the European capital with 184 nationalities”.
The Lexus LS's self-driving technology is mounted on the roof (pictured). That includes the Lidar localisation and detection system, radar, cameras and a positioning system.
Preparations for the test have taken several months and included driver training, an analysis of the route and talks with local authorities. Killmann said that Toyota’s goal is to bring the cars on the market only after an assurance that there will be “exactly zero traffic accidents”.