The Toyota Research Institute, a subsidiary of Toyota Motor North America, said it is constructing a closed-course test facility in Ottawa Lake, Mich., to develop automated-vehicle technology.
Toyota will transform a 60-acre site into a test facility inside the 1.75-mile test track at Michigan Technical Resource Park.When it becomes operational in October, Toyota said it will use the new site to safely replicate demanding “edge-case” driving scenarios, 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,” said Ryan Eustice, senior vice president of automated driving at the Toyota Research Institute. “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 facility will include congested urban environments, slick surfaces and a four-lane divided highway with high-speed entrance and exit ramps, according to the automaker.
Leasing the land from Michigan Technical Resource Park, Toyota is responsible for design, construction and maintenance of the facility. The Toyota Research Institute also will have access to the oval track and other onsite facilities and services, which are owned by the park and provided to all its customers.
This new site expands the institute’s closed-course testing capabilities, adding to partnerships with GoMentum Station in California, and Mcity and the American Center for Mobility in Michigan.
The Michigan Technical Resource Park site has been a vehicle proving ground since 1968, when it was created by a Tier 1 automotive supplier. The 336-acre technology park was sold to a private developer in 2010, and it now operates as a venue available to the automotive, commercial vehicle and mobile off-highway vehicle builders and component suppliers for testing and advanced engineered technology development.