13 September 2012

Toyota's U.S. Based Collaborative Safety Research Center Announces New Partners and Programs

Toyota City, Japan – 13 September 2012 - Toyota Motor Corporation's (TMC's) Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC), an advanced safety research center in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the United States, yesterday announced new joint research partners—Stanford University, Toronto University, University of California San Diego and Ohio State University—and seven new research programs. CSRC collaborates with leading North American universities, hospitals, research institutions, federal agencies and other organizations on projects aimed at reducing the number of traffic fatalities and injuries on North American roads.

CSRC, established in January 2011 as part of TMC's ongoing commitment to safety and quality leadership, is based within the Toyota Technical Center (TTC). Research at CSRC involves Toyota researchers and engineers from North America and Japan, with work focusing on reducing the risk of driver distraction—a growing cause of accidents—and protecting the most vulnerable traffic populations, including children, teens, seniors and pedestrians.

CSRC is already carrying out joint research with organizations including the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute and Virginia Tech. The addition of four new research partners and seven new programs brings the total of joint research organizations to 16 and the total of programs to 26.

The new programs will include wide-ranging research into deepening the understanding of teen driving behavior and of the interaction among the driver, vehicle and driving environment. The program with Stanford University will aim to develop a set of psychological principles that will guide the design of a driver vehicle interface that provides effective, real-time support for drivers of a partially intelligent vehicle. Meanwhile, CSRC work with Toronto University will focus on determining what kind of feedback methods are effective in inhibiting risky driving behavior. Both programs are to be run over a period of three years.

In addition, the research with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute is aimed at creating effective methods to change dangerous driving behavior. The research content, which is based on the analysis of distracted-driving data from 5,600 teen and adult drivers, is to be shared with various researchers and is to be used for the drafting of outreach programs.

Marking the announcement, CSRC Director and TTC Senior Executive Engineer Chuck Gulash said: "We are excited to welcome our new research partners, whose important work will ultimately benefit other automakers and safety professionals. Through our unique 'open source' research model and our commitment to sharing Toyota talent, technology and data with a broad range of institutions and agencies, we hope to drive new innovations and understanding that will benefit not just Toyota drivers but everyone on the road."

TMC, in addition to its efforts to develop ever-safer cars and technologies, is aiming to contribute to the realization of a sustainable mobile society. To this end, TMC will continue to strengthen its wide-ranging efforts in the field of traffic safety through carrying out traffic-safety education activities and participating in the creation and maintenance of safer traffic environments.

Source: Toyota