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Posts Tagged ‘Toyota’

Toyota To Show Off Autonomous Prototype Car At CES Show

January 6th, 2013 01:20 admin View Comments

Software

coondoggie writes “Toyota is going to show off its autonomous car/accident avoidance technology at the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas nest week. The 2013 Lexus LS uses what the car company calls its Intelligent Transport System and is fitted with on-board radar, video cameras and sensors to monitor the road, surroundings, and the driver all with the goal of preventing accidents and avoiding problems.”

Source: Toyota To Show Off Autonomous Prototype Car At CES Show

Toyota Unveils Helpful Human Support Robot

September 24th, 2012 09:12 admin View Comments

Technology

cylonlover writes “Toyota has unveiled a new assistant robot designed to help the disabled live more independently. Called the Human Support Robot (HSR), it represents the latest initiative in Toyota’s Partner Robot program and is intended to help out around the home by fetching things, opening curtains, and picking up objects that have fallen to the floor. The HSR can be controlled using a simple graphical user interface via tablet PC. It can also wear a tablet atop its head, which would allow caregivers and family members to communicate with the robot’s owner over Skype or other services. But unlike recent telepresence robots including the recently announced iRobot RP-VITA, the HSR has an arm and gripper for doing the simple tasks we often take for granted.”

Source: Toyota Unveils Helpful Human Support Robot

Toyota Abandons Plans For All-Electric Vehicle Rollout

September 24th, 2012 09:23 admin View Comments

Transportation

Soultest writes “Toyota has given up on plans to sell any significant number of all-electric vehicles. Citing ‘many difficulties’ with the project, the company says it will only sell about 100 of the battery-powered eQ cars it has been working on for several years. ‘By dropping plans for a second electric vehicle in its line-up, Toyota cast more doubt on an alternative to the combustion engine that has been both lauded for its oil-saving potential and criticized for its heavy reliance on government subsidies in key markets like the United States. ‘The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society’s needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge,’ said, Uchiyamada, who spearheaded Toyota’s development of the Prius hybrid in the 1990s.’”

Source: Toyota Abandons Plans For All-Electric Vehicle Rollout

Mandatory Brake-Override Proposed For All Cars

April 13th, 2012 04:35 admin View Comments

Transportation

Hugh Pickens writes “The LA Times reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to require automakers to include a brake-throttle override system in all their cars and light trucks to help drivers regain control when a vehicle accelerates suddenly when the throttle becomes stuck or jammed. ‘America’s drivers should feel confident that any time they get behind the wheel they can easily maintain control of their vehicles — especially in the event of an emergency,’ says Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. The move came after a fiery 2009 Lexus crash after a floor mat was improperly installed and may have trapped the accelerator pedal, causing the vehicle to race down California Highway 125 outside San Diego at more than 100 miles per hour, crashing and bursting into flames, killing an off-duty California Highway Patrol Officer and three members of his family. That crash led to a recall of 3.8 million Toyota and Lexus vehicles to fix the floor mat problem, and Toyota issued millions more recall notices to fix sticking gas pedals and other issues. Now Toyota has made a brake-override system standard, implementing it in all vehicles the company sold by the end of 2010, and most other automakers offer such a system on many of their vehicles or are adding it. Other automakers would have about two years to comply with the proposal (PDF). ‘We learned as part of the comprehensive NASA and NHTSA studies of high-speed unintended acceleration that brake-override systems could help drivers avoid crashes,’ says NHTSA Administrator David Strickland.”

Source: Mandatory Brake-Override Proposed For All Cars

Brands Will Spend $10 million On Promoted Tweets By Super Bowl LI

February 7th, 2012 02:30 admin View Comments

oops.gifFive years from now brands could spend $10 million on promoted tweets during the Super Bowl, according to an industry observer.

But first, brands need to learn how to use Twitter and avoid Sunday night’s Toyota disaster, in which the car maker ended up spamming people who used game-related hash tags.

“It makes complete sense that the most watched television event will also turn into the most talked about subject on social media,” said Dave Kerpen, CEO and co-founder of Likeable Media. “If I’m a brand, I definitely want to be part of that conversation.”

The $10 million figure is about 10% of the total spent on television advertising during this year’s game, Kerpen said.

We reached out to Toyota and several people at Twitter on Monday asking what guidance, if any, the company gives to advertisers and brands using the service as part of a marketing campaign. So far, we haven’t heard back but will update if we do.

Toyota is just the latest in a long-line of Twitter miscues by brands, many of which were covered by Robyn Tippins last week. Several verified Twitter accounts, including @CamryEffect, used LocalResponse to invite people discussing the game on Super Bowl-related hashtags like #SB46 to enter a contest to win a Camry.

LocalResponse is a program that lets users respond to tweets in real-time, but in this case, the response was overdone and many users who had expressed no interest in Toyota or the campaign. Because the Toyota accounts were verified by Twitter, the implication was that the aggressive marketing was condoned by the microblogging site.

“While such programs are certainly helpful, it’s always better to respond to mentions personally,” Kerpen said. “A personalized, spam free message makes a big difference in engaging with consumers.”

Source: Brands Will Spend $10 million On Promoted Tweets By Super Bowl LI

Toyota To Let People Ride In Self-Driving Prius

November 21st, 2011 11:27 admin View Comments

Robotics

fergus07 writes “Toyota is to show an autonomous Prius at Tokyo Motor Show. Dubbed the Toyota AVOS (Automatic Vehicle Operation System), the car will be available for members of the public to take ‘back seat’ rides at the show, demonstrating first hand how the Prius can avoid obstacles, be summoned from a parking garage and park itself.”

Source: Toyota To Let People Ride In Self-Driving Prius

Toyota Scion IQ Electric Car To Launch In 2012

July 3rd, 2011 07:42 admin View Comments

Transportation

Mightee writes “Toyota officially announced at an annual dealer meeting in Las Vegas that the all-electric Scion iQ will be launched next year in the United States. According to Toyota, Scion iQ can only go 50 miles on a single charge. Because of this, it will be facing tough competition from 73-mile Nissan Leaf and 85-mile Mitsubishi i.”

Source: Toyota Scion IQ Electric Car To Launch In 2012

America’s First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station

May 11th, 2011 05:42 admin View Comments

Transportation

hasanabbas1987 writes “Shell has opened America’s first pipe-lined hydrogen fueling station in the town of Torrence in Southern California. Shell wasn’t alone in this project as Toyota also helped them in this green deed, all of which was funded by the government. At the moment other hydrogen stations around the US still depend upon trucks to supply them with fuel. This marks a new era of green fueling and hopefully this pipeline spreads to other stations. Many of the big car makers like Toyota, Honda and Mercedes have indicated a mass market for hydrogen powered cars by 2015.”

Source: America’s First Pipeline-Fed Hydrogen Fueling Station

Toyota Yields To Apple Over Jailbroken Phones

April 9th, 2011 04:58 admin View Comments

Iphone

zakkie writes “Toyota has caved to pressure from Apple and pulled custom themes for jailbroken iPhones. According to ModMyi.com founder Kyle Matthews, a representative of Toyota’s ad agency said that Toyota gave in to Apple’s request in order to ‘maintain their good relationship with Apple’, and amounted to a direct attack by Apple on jailbroken iPhones.”

Source: Toyota Yields To Apple Over Jailbroken Phones

Microsoft And Toyota Team Up To Create Next-Gen Telematics Platform

April 6th, 2011 04:19 admin View Comments

The battle for the in-dash system is just starting to heat up, as we leave the era of half-hearted in-house interfaces and enter a period where your car will be as powerful and accessible as your smartphone. Ford’s been leading this charge with Sync, and Tesla has a new approach as well, and now Microsoft and Toyota are putting their heads together to make a new platform, and like everything else these days, it’s in the cloud.

The announcement is a bit short on details, but it’s clear that this isn’t just a new GPS system using Bing. Microsoft is hoping to position itself as the connective tissue between people and their cars.

It’s focused on the 2012 Toyota hybrids and plug-ins; one of the major features will be remote monitoring of battery status. Power and range management and visualization is an under-appreciated and under-engineered feature, as any Leaf owner who thought they had 15 more miles in the “tank” will tell you.

The partnership takes the form of a ¥1 billion (~$12m) investment in Toyota’s “Media Service” R&D division. Services will roll out next year, but the full system is planned for a 2015 roll-out.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda briefly describes some other functions that are partially present in existing systems, but will likely soon be standard (from Toyota’s transcript):

For example, this new system will include advanced car-telematics like virtual operators with voice recognition … management of vehicle charging to reduce stress on energy supply…and remote control of appliances, heating and lighting at home.

And with the introduction of Toyota plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles next year…our cars will play a big role in the global expansion of what we call “smart centers” … on-board systems capable of better managing overall energy consumption of cars… driving trips…and homes.

Ballmer chimes in to note that cloud will play a big part:

These applications will be built on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform.

Starting in 2012, customers who purchase one of Toyota’s electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles will be able to connect via the cloud to control and monitor their car from anywhere – safely and conveniently. For example, customers will be able to turn on the heat or AC in their car while their vehicle is plugged into the grid or dynamically monitor miles until the next charging station right from their GPS system.

Additionally, customers can use these applications and services for power management as cars connect into the smart power grid. Imagine being able to tell a car to charge at the time of day when energy demand is low and therefore, the least expensive.

Admirable! Good ideas all, but really the important thing is establishing the car as just another node in your grid of connected devices. If Microsoft can establish a beachhead in the intelligent car system field, that’s a lot of leverage later on as more services start coming to cars as natural extensions of someone’s data environment. Streaming video to the backseat screens, Pandora presets in the radio, calendar notifications with map integration, that kind of thing. Making Bing drivable will also help its share on the desktop.

As usual, the main threat to partnerships like this is the tumultuous nature of tech and the danger of a stated four-year development period. While creating a global telematics platform for the world’s biggest car manufacturer is no small task, four years is an eternity and consumer demands may have shifted significantly by then. But you can’t win if you don’t play. Hopefully we’ll hear more and see some prototypes within a few months.


Devin Coldewey (like “cold-away”) is a freelance writer and photographer based in Seattle. His personal website is coldewey.cc, and you can reach him at devin at crunchgear dot com.

Source: Microsoft And Toyota Team Up To Create Next-Gen Telematics Platform

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