Industry trends show that dramatic changes in driving are just around the corner, as major corporations prepare to have autonomous cars deliver everything from pizza to packages. Toyota is preparing for this coming driverless car era by developing autonomous technology of its own — and also by planning its own mobility services.
Currently, Japan’s largest automaker is teaming up with companies like Amazon, Uber, and even Pizza Hut to develop self-driving technology and services. Toyota’s autonomous vehicle concept, developed in partnership with these companies, was unveiled in January.
Rather than just building vehicles for other companies to use, Toyota is also looking for ways to apply its tried-and-true “kaizen” philosophy to the new world of ride sharing, self-driving deliveries, and other services.
“(Toyota sees) a synergy between autonomous driving and mobility as a service,” financial analyst Christopher Richter told the Financial Times.
The automaker is confident that its approach to manufacturing — which prioritizes strict attention to efficiency, development, and improvement at every step of the way — will translate into success at providing services to consumers as well. It’s also an approach that could help Toyota and its partners maintain and improve the effectiveness and safety of autonomous driving technology and services as they become more widespread.
Toyota recently partnered with Road 2 Recovery (R2R) in Southern California during a Supercross event to help raise money for the foundation. Road 2 Recovery is designed to help licensed AMA professionals participating in motocross or supercross with financial assistance in the event of career-ending injuries. R2R also provides emotional and spiritual support to individuals and their families who deal with major injuries, something we at Bill Walsh Toyota admire.
According to RacerX, R2R and a number of Toyota dealerships are working to offer a 2018 Toyota Tacoma Truck as part of a sweepstakes. The winner will be announced on May 5, during the final round of the Monster Energy Supercross in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Monster Energy Supercross is a massive event that showcases some of the best racing around.
“Since the inception of the foundation and with your support, R2R has donated over $6 million to help over 70 athletes, their families, and fund special projects that meet R2R’s mission. Each entry to win will make sure that R2R can continue to support these athletes and its mission,” reports RacerX.
The R2R Foundation is a nonprofit organization, yet some of the funds raised will be used to help defer operational costs, taxes, web page hosting, marketing, and more.
We at Bill Walsh Toyota are proud to represent a brand dedicated to making a difference in people’s lives.
Technology has come a long way in recent years. Many homes are now equipped with artificial intelligence tools, especially after this past Holiday season when technology like Amazon Alexa was a popular gift to give and receive.
What keeps the automotive market on top of the advancing world of technology is the ability to incorporate smart tools into vehicle cabins. Such a feat was made possible with, for example, the debut of Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ which made it possible for equipped vehicles to sync with smartphone apps.
Now, Toyota is taking its next big strides in technology development by making Amazon Alexa available in select Toyota cars this year. The voice assistant will be included in any vehicle with the Toyota Entune 3.0 App Suite, and in any Lexus equipped with the Lexus Enform App Suite 2.0.
With Amazon Alexa in the car, drivers will be able to do things like turn on music and make calls, but will also have the option to use other Alexa skills like opening and closing the garage door, turning on lights in their home, or getting directions.
Toyota plans to add Amazon Alexa to additional models in 2019. To find out more, or to learn which Toyota vehicles will have Amazon Alexa this year, stop by Bill Walsh Toyota.
Those who like to keep an eye out for all things new and exciting in the automotive world are no doubt looking forward to the upcoming North American International Auto Show. This annual event takes place on Jan. 13-28, in Detroit. Lots of interesting debuts are sure to grab attention from auto fans worldwide, but the crew at Bill Walsh Toyota is excited about one thing in particular: the introduction of the 5th-generation Avalon sedan.
Toyota will debut the new generation of its full-size sedan on Jan. 15. So far, the company hasn’t released much in the way of information — just a small teaser photo that shows the new Avalon’s headlight. The photo suggests that the new generation will make this staple sedan a little sportier. If previous generations are any indication, the new 5th-generation Avalon should have top-notch efficiency and at least one available peppy V6 engine.
If you’re dying to know about the next generation of the Toyota Avalon but can’t make it to Detroit this January, fear not. Toyota plans to live stream the big reveal on its website. All you need to do is visit the Toyota website on Jan. 15 and you’ll be among the first to witness the new 2019 Toyota Avalon sedan.
There are quite a few utility-driven vehicles getting released in the next few years and Toyota isn’t about to be left out of the running. The Japanese automaker announced that it would bring a new off-road concept to the New York International Auto Show. The concept, called the FT-4X, will offer the off-road capability that weekend adventurers love while maintaining urban versatility.
The Toyota FT-4X concept is widely considered to be the replacement for the FJ Cruiser, which left the market in 2014. Now, crossovers and SUVs are all the rage amid low gas prices. With close competitors releasing their own off-road utility vehicles, Toyota is clearly looking to grab its fair share of the market.
The FT-4X name stands for “Future Toyota – Four-Wheel Drive” and a teaser photo reveals just what that means. The concept vehicle rides on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 225/55R18 tires. Obviously a four-wheel drive model, the teaser photo shows that the display model will likely be bright orange.
While speculators believe this could be the successor to the FJ Cruiser, others are holding out in the hopes of a crossover or small truck. The Toyota FT-4X concept will make its public debut on April 12th at the New York International Auto Show.
We here at Bill Walsh Toyota can’t wait to see what comes from the inspiring FT-4X Concept!
The North American International Auto Show ( NAIAS 2017 ) is still going on for a few more days, and by the end Toyota will have shown 45 vehicles. The big story is the new generation of the Camry, Toyota’s flagship sedan, as well as the C-HR crossover coupe that has been making its way around US auto shows in the last year before finally stopping in Detroit.
The 2018 Camry
The eighth-generation Camry, which will go on sale with 2018 models, was built on the TNGA, or “Toyota New Global Architecture,” which was also used in the new Toyota Innova Crysta and the Fortuner, and utilizes sharp, bold styling and defined lines for sporty, aggressive looks.
The Camry’s new sloping roof and sleek profile give a more luxurious impression than previous generations, which is matched by its superior driving dynamics, a redesigned cabin with seamlessly integrated touchscreen, and a unique center console.
The Camry Hybrid will also get a redesign, with some minor differences from the gasoline Camry, including a backlit blue Toyota symbol and a different grille. It will also include the next-generation Toyota Hybrid System.
The 2018 C-HR
The C-HR is set to go on sale in 2018 as well. Originally meant to be part of the Scion lineup, the C-HR takes obvious design cues from the funky, youth-oriented Scion styles. Its deep curves and sharp lines perfectly combine the TNGA design philosophy with the crossover coupe style, giving Toyota a great contender for the subcompact SUV market.
The automobile market has stretched far beyond just building and engineering reliable, long-lasting cars, with more automakers than ever dipping their toes into the world of technology and investing in futuristic features like autonomous vehicle systems. Toyota is one of these companies, having recently announced a partnership between the Toyota Research Institute and Allianz Ventures. The collaboration will give rise to Nauto, a data-collection startup that will use human driver data to improve autonomous driving.
Toyota isn’t the only one cashing in on Nauto. BMW i Ventures and another unnamed auto manufacturer also have stakes in the startup, as they seek to use the system’s technology for the same purpose. The anonymous data collection is done using a small box containing a camera and computer that attaches to a vehicle’s windshield. The camera will then monitor the driver’s habits, learn how to navigate complicated roads, and collect traffic data.
Eventually Nauto would like to program its technology into all vehicles in order to collect even more data for future autonomous vehicle systems, but for the moment, Toyota, BMW, and another manufacturer are the only ones involved in the startup. BMW and Toyota have worked together in the past and are currently also said to be developing a vehicle together, so they’re no strangers to collaborating.
Finally, Toyota Supra spy pictures have surfaced! The Supra, which Toyota is producing in conjunction with BMW, looks just like the Supra that went out of production in the early 2000s, and fans are thrilled. The iconic Supra sports car seems to have taken some inspiration from the FT-1 concept Toyota introduced at the Detroit Auto Show.
First announced in 2012, the Toyota-BMW partnership to produce a sports car hasn’t technically been named, but enthusiasts have long speculated that the car will be a remake of the Supra. Hints from the engineers working on the project have furthered rumors, and with these new photos, it’s all but confirmed.
BMW and Toyota will eventually produce a Z5 released under the BMW name as well as what is speculated to be a new Toyota Supra. This isn’t the first time two automakers have come together to produce low-volume, high-price models they would struggle to fund individually—Mazda and Fiat partnered to produce the Mazda MX-5 Miata and the Fiat 124 Spider.
In other Supra-related news, MotorTrend released a recent article that suggested the Supra may eventually include a hybrid model. The Toyota Europe CEO said he does not “have any doubt whatsoever that in the long-term future there will be a real Toyota sports model using electrification,” but nothing has been confirmed.
Here in the United States, when you imagine a taxi, you probably think about a yellow four-door sedan. In Japan, the image is pretty similar; however, the taxis there will be getting a significant update with what Toyota is calling the “taxi of the future.”
The new taxis seem to be a hybrid between a sedan and a minivan. They will come with a high roof, low floor, and sliding doors. With these features, there will be enough room for a wheelchair, making the new design ideal for elderly passengers and families with small children.
Toyota hopes to put its new taxi on the road in Japan sometime next year with the help of the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations. Toyota cars have been used as taxis since 1936 when the first model AA sedans rolled off the factory floor.
With this new taxi, Toyota hopes to improve the overall taxi experience and industry. It said it hopes to work with taxi drivers to “collaborate on experimental business approaches that make use of automated-driving technology.”
Toyota says that with some automated technology in a taxi, it would open up more opportunities for people who currently cannot be taxi drivers, such as those with disabilities or younger inexperienced drivers
During the 2016 Rio Olympics you may have noticed a commercial from Toyota that showed a medal ceremony and everyone joining hands. While you might think, “This looks like the Olympics,” only official Olympic sponsors can use the Olympic insignia and name. Toyota will get this honor next year, so in the meantime, we get a glimpse into Toyota’s “friendship tournament.”
This ad, called “Stand Together” not only celebrates the Olympic spirit, but is also a way to raise money for those in need. Toyota is encouraging people to share their own videos of people holding hands with the hashtag #LetsJoinHands. For every video, Toyota will then donate $20 to United Way, up to $250,000. The user-generated content may also be mixed together to create a new videos.
Jack Hollis, group VP-marketing for Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., said, “We believe, as our founder did, in the ‘power of togetherness’ and athletics is an amazing example of the power of teamwork. While we do not compete at the highest levels of sport on the playing field, we celebrate the spirit of collaboration every day, whether it is within the walls of Toyota, or in our interaction with our guests.”
Toyota’s official Olympic sponsorship will begin in January and will run through the end of 2024. This will include the 2018 Winter Oympics in Pyeonchange, South Korea; the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo; the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing; and the 2024 Summer Olympics.