Toyota pushes AI to drive like pros

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A GR Yaris, equipped with AI trained on professional drivers, is seen in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, on Sunday.

Toyota Motor Corp. on Sunday unveiled a self-driving car that incorporates driving data from professional rally drivers into its artificial intelligence, at its research and development facility in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture. The company is seeking to quickly put the technology to practical use to enhance the safety of self-driving cars.

Toyota gave a demonstration at the facility of one of its GR Yaris sports cars equipped with AI that had been trained on the skills and knowledge of professional drivers. The test car, which featured automated control of the steering wheel, gas pedal and brakes, smoothly handled a set course at a maximum speed of around 100 kilometers per hour.

Rally drivers, who mainly compete for time on public roads, can skillfully avoid accidents even in poor conditions such as bad weather. Toyota aims to use such knowledge to develop AI that can instruct drivers on how to drive well, even when they are driving themselves.