Filed under: Safety , Technology , Lexus , Toyota A number of automakers are working on developing fully autonomous cars , but it looks like the groundwork for such technologies will likely show up first as semi-autonomous systems for both safety and convenience. Following recent announcements from Nissan and Ford in this area, Toyota has now released information for some of its advanced semi-autonomous technologies that could be offered in production cars over the next few years. On the safety front, Toyota’s new pre-collision system with pedestrian-avoidance steering assist is aimed at protecting the folks who aren’t in the car. This system combines visual and audible alerts with automatic brake assist and automatic steering. If warnings don’t get the driver to slow down, the brake assist kicks in if a collision is very likely, but if that is still not able to avoid the impending collision (and if there is enough room to do so), the car can automatically steer itself around the pedestrian. This sounds most beneficial for last-second dangers such as a person accidently stepping out into the road in front of a car. Toyota hopes to have this technology available to customers by 2015. The Japanese automaker is also testing a suite of technologies called Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA). The key part of this is a new adaptive cruise control system that uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications rather than a radar-based system. This cooperative-adaptive cruise control allows vehicles to communicate their acceleration and deceleration data with other cars, which Toyota says this helps to improve fuel efficiency and traffic flow.
TORRANCE, Calif., Sept. 13, 2013 – Toyota’s fourth-generation RAV4, introduced for the 2013 model year, debuts a new Entune
Filed under: BMW , Toyota , Earnings/Financials An annual market study of the strongest brands across various industries has seen Toyota leapfrog BMW as the world’s most valuable automotive brand. Toyota’s 2013 brand value rose to $24.5 billion, up 12 percent versus 2012 numbers according to market research company Millward Brown’s BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands list. BMW’s value fell slightly; down by 2 percent to a total of $24 billion. Mercedes-Benz finished in third place in the automotive category, up 11 percent from 2012 for a valuation of $18 billion. Honda ($12.4 billion, down 2 percent) and Nissan ($10.2 billion, up 3 percent) rounded out the top five for the category. Volkswagen was the only other auto brand that finished in the top 100 overall, in 100th place. Audi made the greatest percentage gain over 2012, up 18 percent to $5.5 billion, but finished outside of the top 100. Technology companies dominated the overall list, with Apple , Google and IBM ranking one through three. Couture brand Prada was 2013’s biggest gainer, rising by 63 percent over 2012. Toyota passes BMW as most valuable car brand originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 21 May 2013 15:33:00 EST.
TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 10, 2013 – Toyota’s Furia concept will make its world debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show with the help of Samsung transparent display technology. On Jan. 14, Toyota’s striking new sedan concept will be revealed using a custom-built structure housing thirty of Samsung’s new 46” transparent LCD panels. Toyota will be the first automotive company to use this technology to reveal a vehicle at a major international auto show.
Media Advisory – Toyota Furia Concept to Make Global Debut at 2013 North American International Auto Show
TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 9, 2013 – Toyota released another image of the Furia Concept that will make its world debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
All-new Lexus IS First in Industry to Offer Subscription-free Traffic and Weather Information on Integrated Audio Systems
TORRANCE, Calif. (Jan. 8, 2013) – Lexus today announced that it has partnered with iBiquity Digital Corporation, the developer of HD Radio™ Technology, to be the first automotive brand to offer subscription-free, real-time traffic and weather information on its integrated audio systems. The all-new Lexus IS sport sedan, which will debut at the North American International Auto Show on Jan. 15, will be the first Lexus vehicle to feature this technology when it arrives in dealerships this summer.
TORRANCE, Calif., Dec. 19, 2012 – The 2013 Toyota Avalon Limited will be the first vehicle available in the world that offers in-console Qi wireless charging for Qi–enabled mobile phones and devices as part of a Technology Package, available for both the gasoline and hybrid version of the new Avalon Limited, which also includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Automatic High beams and a Pre-Collision System.
TORRANCE, Calif., Oct. 17, 2012 – Furthering its commitment to alternative energy and the environment, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) activated today a new 1.1-megawatt hydrogen fuel cell generator on the Torrance headquarters campus. The fuel cell will supply approximately half of the electricity for six headquarters buildings during peak demand, while producing zero emissions. Designed and built by Ballard Power Systems, the proprietary Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) stationary fuel cell is the largest PEM fuel cell of its kind. The fuel cell is powered by hydrogen gas fed directly from a pre-existing industrial hydrogen pipeline, also a first for this technology. This direct power source allows Toyota to reduce utility grid electricity usage during peak power demand. The same hydrogen pipeline also supplies a hydrogen filling station adjacent to the TMS campus used to fuel Toyota’s and other manufacturers fuel cell hybrid vehicle fleets.
Filed under: Sedan , Honda , Nissan , Toyota Belts and pulleys will continue to replace traditional gears in the coming years as more carmakers turn to Continuously Variable Transmissions to suck the fun out of future machines increase fuel economy. According to a new Automotive News report, by the numbers, about one percent of new vehicles were equipped with a CVT in 2005. By 2010, that number of new vehicles in the U.S. grew to seven percent, thanks largely to Nissan , not to mention an increase in the number of hybrid models sold in America (most of which are fitted with the technology). Experts at IHS Automotive now predict that percentage will more than double by 2016 to 16 percent. The belt-and-pulley transmission can adjust to an engine’s torque in an infinite number of ways, making it more efficient than traditional gearboxes. But CVTs have become the bane of many enthusiasts and critics because of a number of undesirable characteristics – namely the unpleasant ‘rubber band’ sound they emit under hard acceleration. According to Automotive News , Japanese carmakers appear especially interested in adding CVTs to their lineups. Honda is widely expected to offer a CVT on its next-generation four-cylinder Accord , Toyota may include a CVT on its future Corolla , and the CVT stalwarts at Nissan introduced its 2013 Altima earlier this year with an upgraded CVT that helps it achieve 38 miles per gallon on the highway. While CVTs continue to improve, some providing faux programed “shift points” through sport programs or paddle shifters, they remain a non-starter with most enthusiasts we talk to.