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TRI invests in advanced materials research
The Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is investing more than £27 million in research into advanced materials that can be used for batteries and fuel cell systems, helping the development of future zero-emission and carbon-neutral vehicles. It will make use of artificial intelligence in a four-year programme, working with research organisations, academic institutions and other businesses, including the UK-based materials science company Ilika.
Hybrid sales surging
Public awareness of air quality issues is helping fuel a surge in sales of Toyota’s petrol-electric hybrid cars. Registrations of Toyota hybrids rose by more than 40 per cent during the first three months of this year, compared to the same period in 2016. Read more here
Toyotas bring power sources to disaster zone
The ability of Toyota’s plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicle technologies to serve as stand-alone power generators has been put to good use in helping rebuild an area of Japan badly hit by an earthquake six years ago. Toyota has marked the anniversary of the disaster by raising awareness of how its advanced systems can provide valuable help in times of emergency. Read more here.
The ultra-tough qualities of the Toyota Hilux have been viewed in a different light in separate projects on different sides of the world. In the UK, Hilux has gone head-to-head with the Tamiya “Hog Heaven” Bruiser, its small-scale radio-controlled model counterpart, in a range of off-road “little and large” challenges for a series of short films. Meanwhile, Toyota Australia has produced the “ultimate Tonka toy,” creating a one-off, full-size Hilux concept based closely on the toybox truck. Read and see more here and here.
Hybrid boat trials launched
Toyota is taking hybrid marine power to the high seas, lending its PONAM-28V craft to Tokyo’s metropolitan authority for use patrolling the city’s piers and port facilities and duties linked to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games. Read more here.
Collaboration on connected car technologies
Toyota is to work with Japan’s telecoms giant NTT on connected car technologies, with the intention of carrying out field trials from 2018. Read more here.
Toyota has joined forces with Japan’s national agriculture and food research organisation to develop new strawberry varieties that can be grown all-year round. The fruit is hugely popular in Japan, but the country relies on imports outside the local growing season from December to May. Read more here.
Supporting Guide Dogs
Toyota GB and Toyota Financial Services had formed a new national charity partnership with Guide Dogs, an organisation committed to helping people with sight loss live with freedom and confidence. The businesses – which share the same UK headquarters building – are embarking on a programme of large-scale and individual fund-raising activities to support the good cause. Read more here.
Rallying around Team Raleigh GAC
Toyota has started another season of vehicle sponsorship with the leading British pro-cycling outfit Team Raleigh-GAC. A fleet of three Auris Hybrid Touring Sports will be playing a key role helping the team with its training and competition schedule across the UK and overseas. Read more here.
Best of the Blog: prepping GT86 for Top Gear’s cameras
The Toyota GT86 is the “reasonably fast car” driven by celebrities in the new series of Top Gear on BBC2. The blog has gone behind the scenes at Toyota’s press garage to discover how the cars have been specially prepared for their starring role. Read more here.
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