Toyota Research Institute's automated vehicle test facility expected to open in October

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The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) has announced that it is constructing a closed-course test facility—expected to be operational in October of this year—to develop automated vehicle technology.

An approximately 60-acre site at Michigan Technical Resource Park (MITRP) in Ottawa Lake will be transformed into a test facility that will be used exclusively by TRI to safely replicate demanding “edge case” driving scenarios that are too dangerous to perform on public roads.

“By constructing a course for ourselves, we can design it around our unique testing needs and rapidly advance capabilities, especially with Toyota Guardian automated vehicle mode,” explains Ryan Eustice, TRI senior vice president of automated driving.

“This new site will give us the flexibility to customize driving scenarios that will push the limits of our technology and move us closer to conceiving a human-driven vehicle that is incapable of causing a crash.”

The TRI facility will be constructed inside MITRP’s 1.75-mile oval test track, and will include a variety of testing environments and conditions, such as congested urban environments, slick surfaces and a four-lane divided highway with high-speed entrance and exit ramps.

TRI is leasing the land from MITRP, so it is responsible for design, construction and ultimate maintenance of the facility. TRI will also have access to the oval track and other onsite facilities and services, which are owned by MITRP and provided to all its customers.

This new site expands TRI’s closed-course testing capabilities, adding to partnerships with Mcity and the American Center for Mobility in Michigan, and GoMentum Station in California. 

“We are very excited about the partnership with TRI,” says Mike Jones, president of MITRP.  “We believe that this relationship will be a proven winner.”