Filed under: Sedan , CES , Japan , Safety , Technology , Videos , Lexus , Toyota , Luxury While Google and Audi explore the possibilities of autonomous vehicles, Toyota and its Lexus division are studying the intermediate step of vehicles equipped with a deep suite of technology that help drivers make the best decisions. Introduced at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the Lexus advanced safety research vehicle is an LS sedan fitted with three high-def color cameras to detect objects up to almost 500 feet away, 360-degree Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) lasers that can detect objects up to 220 feet away, three radar units to keep track of other vehicles at intersections, a precision odometer on the rear wheel, GPS that estimates orientation and an accelerometer. Currently testing at a purpose-built 8.6 acre urban testing ground at the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono, Japan the Toyota research vehicle is being used to study how to make better drivers, as well as figuring out how to reduce crashes as the industry’s journey through passive and active safety systems progresses. In the event of a crash, new rescue systems are also being tested. Further investment is being put into the Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) that would use shortwave signals to harness information from the car and from other vehicles on the road, as well as roadside infrastructure and even pedestrians. Toyota reasons it could then build a picture of interactions and, for instance, alert the driver to a potential collision at a blind intersection. Toyota’s says its research “could lead to a fully autonomous car in the future,” but for now, the point is that “a driverless car is just a part of the story. Our vision is a car equipped with an intelligent, always-attentive co-pilot whose skills contribute to safer driving.” Improving driver education in this country would probably be a lot cheaper, but hey, we’re for anything that helps make the roads safer places to be. There’s plenty more tech-speak in the video and press release below . Continue reading Toyota and Lexus show off advanced safety research vehicle [w/video] Toyota and Lexus show off advanced safety research vehicle [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 08 Jan 2013 18:00:00 EST.
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota , Earnings/Financials According to a Reuters report, the Japanese government and several of the country’s largest manufacturers are joining forces to rescue troubled electronics manufacturer Renesas Electronics. Toyota , Nissan , Honda , Panasonic , Canon and Denso are set to contribute a combined $637.9 million to a $2.55 billion deal that will see the group gain control of the company. Robert Bosch GmbH is also considering investing in the electronics manufacturer. Why are so many varied corporations interested in Renesas’ future? The company is the world’s leading supplier of microcontroller chips. Even so, the strengthening yen and heavy competition from South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Company has seen Renesas suffer through five years of financial losses. As a result, the company has laid off 12 percent of its workers and currently has plans to either sell or consolidate more than half of its domestic manufacturing facilities. Toyota, Nissan, Honda to assist in $2.55B bailout of chipmaker Renesas with Japanese gov. originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 15 Oct 2012 09:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds .
Filed under: Japan , Plants/Manufacturing , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Japan’s Renesas Electronics Corp. is moving up the restart date for automotive microchip production at its last inactive plant. The company says it should have operations back up and running at its Naka plant the week of June 15, a couple weeks earlier than its original estimate. Renesas is the world’s largest supplier of chips for cars, and is a major kink in the parts supply line for Japanese automakers. The Naka plant was damaged in the March earthquake , and will be Renesas’ last facility to resume production. The plant will operate on a limited schedule at first, building around 3,000 200-millimeter wafers a month, down from a pre-earthquake total of almost 34,000. To compensate, the company has shifted some production burden from Naka to its other manufacturing plants. For now, Renesas is focused on getting any production restarted, but should know by mid-May when it can resume at full capacity. Read the press release after the jump . [Source: Renesas via Automotive News | Image: Renesas Electronics Corporation] Continue reading Renesas Electronics to restart automotive microchip production early Renesas Electronics to restart automotive microchip production early originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 23 Apr 2011 14:05:00 EST.