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Toyota will offer rides in self-driving cars at the Tokyo Olympics

Testing will take place in the Odaiba district between July and September.
Kris Holt, @krisholt
October 24, 2019
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Toyota has revealed details of an upcoming public test for its level-4 automated vehicle and "Chauffeur" self-driving tech, and sports fans headed to Tokyo next year for the Olympic Games will have the chance to try it out. The automaker is offering rides in the car between July and September in the busy waterfront district of Odaiba.

The "complex environment of pedestrians, vehicle traffic, diverse road infrastructure and tall glass buildings" in that area of the metropolis will pose a "challenging setting in which to demonstrate the capabilities" of the autonomous tech, Toyota said. The automaker will open up applications from members of the public who'd like to hitch a ride in the P4 vehicle, which is based on the Lexus LS500h sedan. Per Japanese law, a safety driver will be behind the wheel, ready to take over if needed.

Toyota is getting the P4 ready for the test by replicating some of Odaiba's more challenging infrastructure and driving characteristics at its facility in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. Testing is also taking place around Toyota Research Institute's offices in Los Altos, California and Ann Arbor.

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