Category Archives: Toyota Technology

Toyota Self-Driving Cars: Safer, Smarter, and User Friendly

The Toyota Research Institute is making headlines as it makes advances in autonomous vehicle technologies. The 2.0 advanced safety research vehicle was recently displayed in Sonoma California and have been dubbed the Chauffeur and Guardian technologies.

According to Toyota, the new Toyota self-driving cars operate by using a range of machines and systems. These include the LIDAR feature, a combination of radar and cameras that work to optimize the computer’s perception of environment. The autonomous Prius models also rely on high-definition maps to a degree, that, when combined with LIDAR, paint a clear picture for the computer.

“Basically, it is a smart vehicle designed to get smarter over time,” said Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute. “It will learn individual driver habits and abilities and will benefit from shared intelligence from other cars as data gathering, sharing and connectivity technologies advance.  We believe Guardian can probably be deployed sooner and more widely than Chauffeur, providing high-level driver-assist features capable of helping mitigate collisions and save lives, sooner rather than later.”

The Chauffeur system is a fully autonomous technology that can operate constantly, while Guardian is a high-level driver assist system. This means the car is able to always monitor what’s happening, helping to prevent crashes moments before humans are even aware of danger. You don’t have to give up your freedom behind the wheel with these self-driving systems—they just work when you need them. At Bill Walsh Toyota, we can’t wait to see what else the brand has in store for the future.

Exciting Toyota Concept Models and Production Models at 2017 Chicago Auto Show

Toyota is making an exciting showing at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show this week, where the brand will debut several concept vehicles, as well as the latest versions of popular models that will hit showroom floors later this year.

Toyota released details on the “sexy” new 2018 Camry and, at the time of writing, first glimpses of the 2018 Tundra TRD Sport at CAS have been announced on Twitter. Toyota’s enormous CAS display will include more than 50 vehicles, in addition to the new Camry and Tundra.

The Camry, America’s best-selling car for fifteen years running, was first shown at the Detroit Auto Show in January and is thrilling consumers thanks to its new sporty looks and energy. The Tundra TRD Sport’s premium design and rugged performance will satisfy any truck driver and the 2017 RAV4 and Highlander will give viewers an interactive preview of Toyota’s innovative safety technology.

Toyota’s 2017 CAS theme, “The Story of Go,” will present this safety technology through seven demonstrations, including GO CONNECT, which shows how vehicles connect to modern technology, and GO SEE THE UNSEEN, which demonstrates Automatic High Beams, Perimeter Scan, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert.

The three Toyota concept models, the FCV+, i-ROAD, and FV2, cover a range of ecofriendly and mobility needs. The hydrogen-powered FCV+ can be used to generate electricity inside the home. The i-ROAD, which has been around for a few years, is a three-wheel personal EV with Active Lean technology. The FV2 uses an intelligent transport system to connect drivers to other vehicles in the area and is operated by the driver shifting their body to change direction.

Toyota’s massive CAS show will give the auto world a lot to talk about in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for news on more new Toyota vehicles.

Toyota Partners With Startup to Improve Autonomous Vehicle Systems

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.

Check Out Toyota’s Taxi of the Future

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

Jay Leno Test Drives the Toyota i-Road EV

Everybody knows Jay Leno as the former host of The Tonight Show. However, fewer people know that Leno is also a huge automotive enthusiast. He takes any chance he can get to drive a new vehicle. One of the latest models he test drove was a unique experience even for him. Jay Leno had the chance to test drive the Toyota i-Road EV.

The Toyota i-Road EV is unlike any other vehicle currently in the industry. With space for one driver, you won’t find a lot of room for cargo. However, its small size and unique 3-wheel configuration allows it to maneuver through the tightest of obstacles.

Additionally, since it is an EV vehicle, the i-Road EV can travel about 31 miles on a single charge, allowing you to take the small vehicle to relatively distant destinations.

When Leno got behind the wheel of the Toyota i-Road EV, he had some articulate descriptions of the vehicle. “Well it’s a very odd sensation,” he said. “It feels like I’m driving a car, but it’s almost like I’m on skis.”

Combining his automotive experience with the i-Road capabilities, Leno was able to easily conquer an obstacle course set up for him.

Don’t miss your chance to experience the best vehicles that the automotive world has to offer. Be like Leno and test drive a Toyota today!

Toyota C-HR Cabin Designed to be as Luxurious as Possible

Toyota consistently creates some of the best-looking vehicles in the automotive world. However, what really sets the brand of vehicles apart is that they look just as beautiful on the inside! The engineers and designers at Toyota are continually finding ways to make the cabin of their vehicles more comfortable and luxurious, and they might have just created their best work yet.

According to a report from Wards Auto, Toyota has designed the Toyota C-HR cabin to be as luxurious as possible.

In order to create a comforting, yet luxurious interior for the vehicle, Toyota’s designers equipped the roomy cabin with a plethora of different features.

For example, the Toyota C-HR has an 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system that is angled toward the driver, allowing for more ease of access.

Perhaps the most luxurious feature of all is the 2-tier front seats, which provide maximum comfort for the top half and maximum support for the bottom half.

“The C-HR gives Toyota a powerful new presence in the growing C-crossover segment,” Kazuhiko Isawa, chief designer for the-C-HR, said in a statement. “It is intended to spearhead a new movement within its segment; to create a new frontier. That’s why we decided it had to be unique, with its own personality, full of originality.”

When it comes to the highly anticipated Toyota C-HR, true beauty really does lie within!

Check Out the Toyota Entune System

With the new Toyota Entune system, drivers and passengers are free to experience a range of advanced technology features meant to enhance the experience of riding in a Toyota vehicle. The standard Entune system gives passengers access to features like voice recognition capabilities, a 6.1- to 7-inch touchscreen, and on some models, Siri Eyes Free. You can also upgrade for even more features and goodies.

 

If you just can’t get enough of music, the Entune Audio Plus system includes SiriusXM access as well as the chance to listen to hundreds of HD Radio stations and channels. HD Radio also offers Traffic and Weather updates in realtime, as well as the Scout GPS Link. However, if you want the full package with Toyota’ comprehensive Entune App Suite, Entune Premium Audio Systems is the one for you. You’ll have access to all of the above, an available premium speaker system, and even Integrated Navigation.

 

The App Suite offers convenience such as access to Internet streaming radios like Pandora or iHeartRadio, while apps like DestinationSearch and Yelp can help you choose what you’d like to do for the evening. OpenTable, Movie Tickets, and gas price apps are available to you at the tap of the touchscreen or through voice command alone. The Toyota Entune system puts the world at your fingertips.

Toyota Announces Winners of TeenDrive365 Video Challenge

Toyota sets out to challenge teenagers’ creativity and video-making skills every year with the TeenDrive365 Video Challenge. Closing out its fifth year, the challenge encourages teens to take a closer look at safe driving by putting together their very own public service announcements. This year, more submissions came in than ever before and the winner was everything but your average car safety commercial.

Matthew Post and John Caporaletti, students at Sherwood High School in Olney, Maryland, created the winning video. Titled “For the Whales,” the video compares driving a vehicle to driving a beluga whale. The humorous video makes quite a few good points and, at just a minute long, is definitely worth the watch.

For their video, the dynamic duo took home $15,000. In addition to that prize, a Discovery film crew will reshoot the ad and make it into a public service announcement that will run on Discovery networks.

Judges that represent Toyota and Discovery Education, a provider of digital content and development for students through high school, selected the winning video. In all, this year’s contest brought in more than 1,500 entries.

We here at Bill Walsh Toyota would like to congratulation Post and Caporaletti on a job well done!

Toyota’s Plug-In Hybrid Cars to Hit China

China has a simply incredible amount of pollution and Toyota’s looking to help curb that problem. The Japanese automaker announced plans to introduce more plug-in hybrid cars to China’s market at the Beijing auto show. Some of the brand’s most popular cars will be going green(er) and Toyota will introduce them to the market in 2018.

The ever-popular Toyota Corolla will see a hybrid model added to its line for the Chinese market. Another model unfamiliar to the United States, the Levin, will make its way into the green line as well. Toyota’s plug-in hybrid cars have an extended range compared to standard hybrids, which don’t have a rechargeable battery.

“Our decision to launch plug-in hybrid versions of the Corolla and the Levin reflects the depth of our resolve and commitment to the Chinese market,” said Hiroji Onishi, head of Toyota’s China operations.

The plug-in hybrids designed for China would run for 30 miles on electricity alone when fully charged. China’s government is looking to help fuel sales of green cars as well.

Chinese buyers are able to take advantage of purchase incentives by buying fuel efficient hybrids and all-electric cars. To qualify for those generous incentives, the cars must meet certain conditions involving fuel economy and emissions standards.

We here at Bill Walsh Toyota are happy to see more eco-friendly cars hitting markets around the globe!

Toyota Implements New Strategy for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Toyota has made a name for itself among green car enthusiasts and environmentalists thanks to the brand’s pioneering efforts with the introduction of the Prius hybrid. Nowadays, hybrids as well as electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace, and it seems like almost every major auto manufacturer has a green car or two in its lineup. However, Toyota has chosen to look to the further again — this time, in the realm of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. However, early efforts to incorporate hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative source of fuel passed under the radar, so Toyota has gone back to the drawing board, choosing to introduce hydrogen fuel in different areas in order to slowly build demand.

 

The problem with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles parallels the initial problem with electric vehicles. Electric charging ports were rare because EVs themselves were rare, but nobody wanted to buy EVs because of their short range and shortage of charging ports. Hydrogen fueling stations are similarly scarce due to the lack of demand for vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel.

 

Consequently, Toyota is turning its attention (temporarily) away from the automobile market and targeting a more industrial demographic. The next vehicle from the company to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells will be none other than a forklift. These forklifts will be engineered to harness wind power to generate hydrogen to power them through small tasks like shuttling vegetables, beer, and other lightweight goods in the Tokyo Bay marketplace.

 

As demand for the hydrogen-powered forklifts grows, Toyota will slowly release more mainstream hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, with the plan being to eventually launch more passenger vehicles such as the Toyota Mirai. Additionally, Toyota is the world’s largest producer on forklifts, which means these forklifts may catch on sooner than one might think.