- Toyota announced a new $35-million investment in its Ann Arbor, Michigan safety research center, with the aim of getting active safety technology into every product in Toyota's lineup in an initiative that starts in 2015.
- The goal is to pair "the judgment of humans with the precision of machines," by rolling out vehicles that are laden with more connectivity and active and passive safety technology.
- Toyota, Lexus, and Scion dealers were prepped during a national dealer meeting in Las Vegas in late August on some of what's next for safety technology.
ANN ARBOR, Michigan — Toyota on Wednesday announced a new $35-million investment in its Ann Arbor, Michigan safety research center, with the aim of getting active safety technology into every product in Toyota's lineup in an initiative that starts in 2015.
These systems are designed to help drivers avoid crashes and reduce the effects if a crash can't be avoided.
Although Toyota did not release details on which Toyota, Lexus, and Scion vehicles will be first to get the new tech and when, it aims to outfit the entire product lineup by 2017. Toyota and Scion vehicles may feature the high-tech anti-collision systems featured on Lexus vehicles, along with other elements of Lexus' safety technology.
A Pre-Collision system is offered on such vehicles as the 2015 Lexus RX 350.
"We'll begin the rollout in 2015," the automaker announced at the start of a three-day Advanced Safety Seminar being held to showcase the latest in automotive safety technology.
"The emergence of advanced technology is radically reshaping the transportation landscape," said Chuck Gulash, director of Toyota's Collaboative Safety Research Center, in a statement. "We hope to help pave the way for the safe introduction of these new systems."
Jason Schulz, business development and partnerships manager at Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, told Edmunds the company spent two evenings in late August at the national dealer meeting in Las Vegas showing Toyota, Lexus, and Scion dealers what it has in mind.
Asked how dealers reacted, he said: "Their concern is always, what will this cost, and what will it mean to the customer?"
Although Toyota doesn't yet have the full answer to the first question, Schulz said they have a pretty good idea about the second.
"If you look at the number of traffic deaths on American roads," he said, "it's like losing a town full of people the size of Juneau, Alaska, every year."
That's just the kind of statistic Toyota's major investment is targeting.
Edmunds says: The safety benefits are likely going to speak for themselves once these high-tech safety systems reach the Toyota, Scion and Lexus showroom floors.