Category Archives: Toyota
We’re seeing a lot of new partnerships in the electric and self-driving car market. Many companies in this market are gearing up for the future of the automotive industry. Japanese auto giant Toyota announced today that it has teamed up with Mazda and supplier Dense for technology development for electric cars.
According to the press release issued by Toyota today, the three companies will be jointly working on developing “basic structural technologies” for electric cars. They have also decided to set up a new company which will consist of selected engineers from the three companies to ensure that the joint technological projects are efficiently implemented.
The agreement between Toyota, Mazda, and Denso is going to cover a wide variety of vehicles such as passenger cars, SUVs, minivehicles, and light trucks. The basic structural technologies for electric cars that they create will cover this entire range of vehicle segments.
The companies are going to dedicate an equal amount of development resources. Taking advantage of existing production facilities, they will strive for efficient development processes. Mazda and Toyota intend to focus on their fundamental car manufacturing values to enable the creation of “appealing” electric cars that embody the unique identities of each brand.
They’re also hopeful that other car manufacturers and suppliers will join the group to further advance the work on standardization of electric car technologies.
Toyota appears to be aiming for a disruption in the electric car space. According to a new report, the company is working on an entirely new type of electric car which will be powered by a different type of battery. This will thus be a long-range fast-charging electric car. The new battery system will not only provide long range but also faster charge times. Toyota is reportedly aiming to sell this car by 2022.
The Chunichi Shimbun daily reported today that Toyota’s new electric car is going to be built on an all-new platform and that it’s going to use solid-state batteries. The batteries will enable the car to be rechared in a few minutes.
Existing electric cars rely on lithium-ion batteries which need up to 30 minutes to recharge even with faster charging systems in place. These batteries provide a maximum range of around 250 miles.
It’s said that Toyota will first release this electric car in Japan by 2022. When contacted by the scribe, a spokeswoman for the company said that while Toyota is not going to comment on specific product plans, it is planning to commercialize solid-state batteries by the early 2020s.
No further information about the car is available at this point in time. It’s still early days so it may not be until a couple of years from now that we start hearing more information about this solid-state battery-powered Toyota car.
In sci-fi TV shows, movies, and cartoons, if there is one piece of tecnhnology that we see quite often it is cars that can fly. The advantage is that without roads, there will be no traffic jams and people can get to their destinations faster. Unfortunately that future is far from being a reality, but Toyota is hoping to see that come 2020.
In a report from Nikkei, Toyota has recently announced that they will be backing the project of one of its employees. Led by a group called Cartivator, it is being led by Tsubasa Nakamura who won a business contest. The team has 30 or so members who contribute to the project in their free time and has largely relied on online crowdfunding as a means to finance itself.
However Toyota’s announcement will see the company invest 40 million yen (about $350,000) into the business. Toyota’s goal is to get the car flying by next year and have it commercialized in time for the 2020 Olympic games where they are hoping it can be used to light the Olympic torch.
Of course when exactly it will be road legal is a different story. After all self-driving cars have yet to gain full regulatory approval around the world, and we can only imagine that cars that can fly will present its own set of regulatory and legal obstacles.
Image credit – Wikipedia
As it stands there isn’t a standard set of rules in place with regards to self-driving vehicles in the US. This is why when Uber’s self-driving program was put to a stop in California, all they had to do was ship their cars and their program over to Arizona where they were seemingly welcomed with open arms.
That being said, this is why it is understandable that several carmakers and companies have since launched an appeal for the US federal government to come up with a standard set of rules regarding the testing and deployment of self-driving cars. The companies in question are Toyota, GM, and Lyft, and interestingly enough Tesla, Uber, and Waymo did not participate in this effort (yet).
In a testimony made by GM Vice President of Global Strategy Michael Ableson, “Self-driving cars won’t drive while impaired by drugs or alcohol, they won’t be distracted by a cell phone, they won’t drive drowsy or recklessly, and their speed will be limited to that of the local laws and conditions. For years, auto makers have committed our resources to protecting passengers when crashes do happen. Today, through the continuing development of technology, we have the further opportunity to avoid crashes altogether.”
We’re not sure what will become of this appeal, but it is clear that there needs to be some standards set in place
When Toyota first launched its Prius hybrid, the car and the drivers of such cars have been the butt of jokes, but it seems that Toyota and owners of hybrids could be getting the last laugh because in a recent announcement by Toyota, the carmakers has confirmed that as of 31st January, 2017, they have managed to sell 10 million hybrid and plug-in hybrids to date.
According to Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota Motor North America, “The Prius stands as an icon for sustainability and efficiency, and is a shining example of what you can achieve when you have the right idea to help solve a problem. Hybrids remain an important part of our lineup of vehicles, with over 246,000 units sold last year, and we have seen continued demand with the release of the RAV4 Hybrid variant of the popular compact SUV, accounting for nearly 13 percent of its total sales volume in 2016.”
Takeshi Uchiyamada, co-chairman of the Board of Directors at Toyota and also known as the “father” of the Prius adds, “When we launched Prius, no one even knew what a hybrid was, but, thanks to early adopters, hybrids have ridden a wave of success into the mainstream. We are grateful to each and every one of our customers who have helped us achieve this important [global] milestone.”
In addition to boasting 10 million hybrid sales, Toyota is estimating that because of the number of hybrids they’ve sold, there are 77 million fewer tons of CO2 emissions, and also there is 7.66 billion gallons of gasoline that have been saved as a result.
[CES 2017] What is the whole point of a consumer electronics show if you do not have a few concepts that tickle the imagination? The engineers at Toyota would like to wow us with their vision of what a car in the future would look like, kicking things off with “Yui”. Specially designed from the ground up, the Toyota Concept-i offers hopes to inspire the future in terms of mobility by knowing you better.
Most definitely artificial intelligence (AI) will play a role in the Toyota Concept-i, as the Japanese automobile manufacturer would like this vehicle to become your friend. While not so much an emotional attachment as in the characters in Pixar’s “Cars”, having a machine that can relate to you somewhat can be uncanny and unnerving as it is comforting.
The Toyota Concept-i will arrive with a forward-thinking user interface in order to reflect its personality. It will also hopefully be able to create a bond between the car and driver, and even society at large. The entire concept was built from the inside-out, making sure that you would love to drive in the Concept-i as much as possible. Toyota has plans to integrate biometric sensors in different areas of the car, allowing it to figure out just how you are feeling.
Assuming you are starting to feel on the down and out, it will automatically analyze your emotion before providing a recommendation on what your options are next. Should it be necessary, it can even engage the autonomous driving mode and bring you safe and sound to your destination while you mope behind the wheel.
If you have owned a Honda car in the past few years and have been asked by the company to send your car in to replace its airbags, this is because it is due to the faulty airbags installed in Honda cars (amongst others) by Takata, which we reported ab…
Buying a hybrid/electric car rewards the driver in knowing that by driving such a car, they are doing their part for the environment. There is also the added benefit of saving on gas since hybrids do tend to consume less fuel than their gas-powered counterparts. However if those perks aren’t good enough, not to worry.
It seems that over in Japan, Toyota has partnered up with five major electricity providers to give real-world rewards to owners who drive the plug-in Prius models (known as the Prius Prime in the US), where drivers can earn points that have monetary value that can be used towards paying off your electricity bills or exchanged for products. So in case the intrinsic value of owning a plug-in wasn’t enough, perhaps this will be motivation to get one.
So how does this reward program work? Basically the more you drive on electric power only, the more points you will be able to get. Other factors that can earn one points include how much charging at home is being done, as well as other data collected by the car’s data communication module. The data is then collected by Toyota and passed onto the electricity providers, but unfortunately they did not break down what the points are worth and what other factors are taken into consideration.
It is an interesting program and while it does seem to encourage drivers to drive using the electric mode or to encourage car buyers to purchase similar vehicles, we have to wonder about the long-term sustainability of such a program, unless it is merely just a promotion to try and get customers interested in the plug-in Prius.
Toyota recently announced that it’s creating a new in-house unit which will be tasked with developing electric cars, it goes to show that the Japanese auto giant is serious about competing in this market. The company has now said that it’s aiming to develop advanced electric car batteries “in a few years” which will provide 15 percent greater range and battery life than existing batteries.
“Lithium-ion battery is a key technology for electrifying cars, and there is a clear need, going forward, for improving this technology and its performance even more,” said Toyota battery technology researcher Hisao Yamashige during a media briefing earlier today.
Lithium-ion battery packs are used to power electric cars. Improving the performance of these batteries is easier said than done. It takes a significant amount of time and resources to make that happen and clearly Toyota is willing to invest into this aim.
Toyota isn’t alone in its quest to develop more advanced and efficient electric car batteries. Many automakers and battery manufacturers are also working on similar projects to advance the cause of electric cars.
Toyota engineers have been able to see in “real time” how lithium ions move inside the electrodes using techniques developed in collaboration with four universities in Japan and one of the country’s publicly-financed laboratories. This insight will enable engineers to come up with new designs that prevent lithium ions from unevenly moving and limiting battery life by bunching up in the electrodes.