Toyota will invest $US 50 million in the research and development of intelligent vehicle and mobility technologies with an ambitious new collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University, California.
Joint research centres will be established at each university with Toyota investing $US50 million over the next five years.
Dr. Gill Pratt, former Program Manager at DARPA (the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency) and leader of its recent Robotics Challenge, has joined Toyota to direct and accelerate these research activities and their application to intelligent vehicles and robotics.
Toyota’s Mirai hydrogen car kicked off last weekend’s World Rally Championship event based at Trier, West Germany.
Used as a 'zero' course car, experienced rally driver and journalist Mitsuhiro Kunisawa used the car to precede competitors through the stage of the all tarmac event.
To be rally-ready, the Mirai was fitted with a roll cage, race seats and full harness seat belts as well as competition tyres and improved brake pads. To further aid Kunisawa, Toyota Germany provided a mobile hydrogen refuelling unit, which fills the plastic and carbon fibre tank in just three minutes.
The 100 kWs, 335Nm fuel cell power train remained unchanged. It fuses together hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell stack to produce electricity – powering an electric motor connected to the front wheels. It’s good for 0-100 km/h in 9.6 seconds and can hit 178 km/h flat out.
Toyota New Zealand is proud to continue its long-standing sponsorship of Emirates Team New Zealand as it embarks on its journey towards the America’s Cup in June 2017.
Emirates Team New Zealand came within one race of regaining the world’s oldest sporting trophy at the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, before being pipped at the post by Oracle in a series that had four million Kiwis on the edge of their seats.
The next America’s Cup is taking place in Bermuda and Toyota’s support will be more important than ever for Emirates Team New Zealand in its quest to bring the cup back to New Zealand.
Toyota General Manager of Marketing, Andrew Davis, says Toyota New Zealand’s commitment to the team is testament to Toyota’s faith in their ability to once again provide some fierce competition in the Americas Cup.
Andrew Davis says Toyota is the only major sponsor to have stayed loyal to Team New Zealand for more than two decades.
Toyota will be looking to do a “David” on the “Goliaths” of endurance sports car racing at the Le Mans 24 Hours on 13 and 14 June.
The French race, first held in 1923, is the jewel in the crown of the World Endurance Championship, which Toyota won last year, becoming the first Japanese manufacturer to do so.
The team’s pair of TS040 Hybrids will face three cars teams from Audi, Nissan and Porsche this year.
In the opening two rounds of the World Endurance Championship this year Toyota only has a third place at Silverstone to show for their efforts.
"We have made improvements in lap times since last year,” said Toyota Motorsport GmbH race director Rob Leupen. “But it was not enough. We're going to Le Mans now as the underdog."
Toyota won five of the eight rounds of the championship in 2014 and Anthony Davidson and Sebastien Beumi, who were paired together all season, jointly won the Driver’s Championship.
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