Long dismissed as too impractical and expensive for everyday cars, fuel cell technology is getting a push into the mainstream by Toyota, the world's top-selling automaker. Buoyed by its success with electric-gasoline hybrid vehicles, Toyota is betting that drivers will embrace hydrogen fuel cells, an even cleaner technology. The company’s fuel cell car will go on sale before April next year.
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On Tuesday, the auto giant Toyota showcased experimental robots that can help disabled patients work, or even get up out of bed. The company intends to commercialize its walk-assist products sometime after 2013.
Two of the world’s top automakers have teamed up as equal partners to develop a hybrid drive system for rear-wheel-drive light trucks and SUVs.They will independently integrate the new hybrid system in their future vehicles separately.
Toyota's new hybrid vehicle, Prius ? (Prius alpha), features automotive interior parts made of DuPont Sorona EP polymer, a high-performance, renewably sourced thermoplastic resin, that contributes to the advanced interior design while also reducing the environmental footprint.
The maker of the popular Prius hybrid car is developing a new type of electric motor to cut its dependence on rare earth metals and lower costs. The world’s No. 1 automaker hopes the new technology will free it from reliance on China, which produces 97% of the global output of rare earths.
Hybrid vehicles have the ability to stop an engine at idle and restart again automatically to contribute considerably to overall fuel economy. Toyota Motor Corp., with development assistance from a number of companies, has engineered the Permanently Engaged Gear Starting Mechanism for Stop & Start system to help streamline the integration of this capability into future vehicles.
Brake control systems are in common use to help drivers control steep descents, start uphill, and stay on the road when traction degrades. The Crawl Control vehicle brake system, introduced by Toyota Motor Corp. and ADVICS Co., LTD., is the only one to unite existing control measures in a comprehensive system for off-road driving conditions.
Considerable effort is spent in designing automobiles to protect occupants in a crash. But injury statistics remain high, with annual injuries from car accidents numbering in the millions. As much as half of these are rear-end collisions, which are highly survivable but usually cause significant injuries, commonly whiplash. A new preventive technology from Toyota Motor Corp. (Aichi, Japan), the Rear Pre-Crash Safety System (applied for Lexus LS460), takes advantage of existing radar technology and applies it in an innovative way to prevent neck injuries in the event of end-to-end impact.
As global automobile sales increase, so do the demands for safer vehicles. This social mandate has driven researchers at Toyota Motor Corp. (Shizuoka, Japan) to create the world’s first commercial production of a mechanically active steering system that can simultaneously control both the steering angle and steering torque similar to a steer-by-wire system.
Developed by Toyota Motor Corporation, The Fusion Sensor for Pre-crash Safety system combines a single-eye image sensor with millimeter wave radar to detect obstacles.
Engineers from Toyota Motor Corp. and Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. have developed the Intelligent Parking Assist (IPA) system. Using electric power steering, this technology steers cars for drivers performing difficult parking maneuvers in tight and restrictive spaces, such as parallel or garage parking, and may be of particular use for the beginner driver or physically challenged.
Toyota Central Research and Development Laboratories, Inc., Aichi-gun, Japan, has developed a new system of physically evaluating the wettability by conducting optical and in situ measurements of the contact angle and surface tension of molten solder wetted substrate. The Contact Angle and Surface Tension Measuring System can evaluate various solder alloys, fluxes, substrates, and surface finishes on substrates.
Developers at Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota, Japan and Toyoda Machine Works, Ltd., Okazaki, Japan, have created the Variable Gear Ratio Steering (VGRS) System to enhance the steering system of the vehicle. In the system’s design, a steering angle sensor is coupled, with the aid of a computer, to an actuator nestled in the steering column of the automobile.