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Part of a ZDNet Special Feature: CES 2019: The Big Trends for Business

CES 2019: Toyota details Guardian driver assist to avoid car crashes

Toyota’s Guardian driver assist system is being developed to take over whenever a driver leaves a ‘safety envelope’ to help avoid and mitigate crash scenarios.

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According to Toyota Research Institute CEO Dr Gill Pratt, the auto industry has an obligation to use tech to save as many lives as possible as soon as possible.

Taking inspiration from fighter pilot systems, Pratt said the company has developed "blended envelope control"; most of the time driver is in control, but when they reach the edge of a designated safety envelope, the car takes over and steers it back into this safety envelope.

"It's a seamless blend of human and machine working together as teammates," Pratt said at CES on Monday afternoon.

"Our Guardian alerts the driver visually and audibly of imminent danger, and it avoids it by manoeuvring out of the lane briefly, then returning to the original lane to avoid the obstruction."

The "Altruistic Guardian" capability also sees the system move the car to create space in order to prevent two other vehicles from colliding otherwise.

Toyota also announced building a facility in Michigan to test Guardian on how best to react to and navigate dangerous scenarios -- for example, if a car pulls out unexpectedly and leaves the driver with no time to react.

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The test facility will also be used to recreate real-life car crashes to see whether the Guardian system can be used to avoid or mitigate them.

Guardian is going to be integrated in all e-palette vehicles -- previously announced at CES 2018 -- and Toyota consumer vehicles.


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Additionally, Toyota said it will be opening up the platform in an effort to save more lives as the company pursues its Guardian For All strategy.

"We're developing Guardian, we'll build it, and today for the first time we're announcing that we're going to offer it as well to the industry," he said.

"And that is what Guardian for all is all about."

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