The Sonoma Raceway traditionally hosts Indy and Nascar events where cars sprint around the track at breathtaking speeds, burning thousands gallons of gas pulled from the remains of long-dead dinosaurs. The Toyota Prius Challenge is, in nearly every possible way, the exact opposite of that experience. Instead of speed, competitors are graded on efficiency. Toyota picked 20 teams to drive around the track in identical Prius' and tasked them with pulling as many miles per gallon as possible during a 40-minute, nine lap "race." But the streamlining squads needed more than just a light foot.
The all- new test vehicle will be used to explore a full range of autonomous driving capabilities. Toyota's work on autonomous vehicles in the United States began in 2005 at its technical center in Ann Arbor, Mich.-- The company secured its first U.S. patents in the field in 2006.-- According to a report last year by the Intellectual Property and Science division of Thomson Reuters, Toyota holds more patents in the field than any other company. "This new advanced safety research vehicle is the first autonomous testing platform developed entirely by TRI, and reflects the rapid progress of our autonomous driving program," said TRI CEO Gill Pratt.
Toyota Research Institute (TRI), with an office in Palo Alto, is bringing the Prius Challenge to Sonoma Raceway for a competitive event designed to engage the startup and tech community. The event will be held March 3, 2017, and will include a team competition where participants strive to optimize their driving using strategies via an app created specifically for the event. The Prius Challenge originated at Toyota's headquarters in Japan, where participants battle it out to see who can achieve the best fuel economy and efficiency rating on a Prius within a target time range. While Toyota employees and dealers have been able to participate in the challenge, this is the first time that members of the public will have the chance to compete. "TRI is excited to host the Prius Challenge and introduce a competition that will allow participants to use machine learning and sophisticated data analysis tools to test out their theories in the real world," said Gill Pratt, CEO at Toyota Research Institute, Inc. "Silicon Valley and the Bay Area are a hotbed for automotive talent and innovation, and this event is the perfect opportunity for TRI to engage with the tech community and have some fun in the process."
This weekend's DraftKings NASCAR Talladega picks and projections article will be a bit different than most weeks, and that's because I've added some new things to the article. Because of the nature of Talladega, it's very hard to give accurate picks and projections (the best statistical models can only give a prediction accuracy in the 0.15 R-squared range for finishing position), so I'm introducing a new feature that uses logistic regression to model the probability that a driver ends up with a top six and a top 10 score for this weekend's DraftKings NASCAR Talladega slate. This gives us a bit more information when deciding if a driver makes a worthy play or not. For all the strategy talk about Talladega, make sure to check out this week's NASCAR episode of On the Daily DFS, where Matt and I discuss DraftKings NASCAR Talladega strategy for a good solid 40 minutes. Be sure to read all the way to the end of this article, as On the Daily DFS is running a FREE DraftKings contest to win some swag from NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Landon Cassill (@landoncassill).