Toyota patents ‘race track driving assistance’ technology


Toyota could be bringing a bit of Gran Turismo to the real world with the company filing a patent for ‘race track driving assistance’ in the U.S.

Using a combination of GPS, cameras and pre-programmed track layouts with latitude and longitude data, the car’s computer can determine exactly where the vehicle is on the circuit at any given moment and influence the car’s steering, brakes and throttle inputs using the vehicle’s active safety suite.

It could also ‘coach’ the driver by giving visual cues to the driver via the vehicle’s heads-up display, much like the video game – telling the driver when to brake and accelerate out of a corner.

The patent further outlines how the system could help both aspiring and seasoned racers. On the base level, the system could assume control of the vehicle in an emergency by intervening when it detects a mistake. According to the patent, the system ensures that “control of the vehicle is not lost and that the vehicle does not deviate from the race track”.

The next level up is designed to assist more experienced drivers, where steering assistance would turn just 5-10 degrees when in fact a 30-90 degree turn is required to negotiate a corner without deviation from the circuit. This acts as a prompt for the driver without completely taking over.

While some enthusiasts may turn their noses up to this technology, we believe it could be invaluable for less experience drivers or even season types who want to improve their skills.

What do you think? Would you like to see this tech go into production?

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