ANN ARBOR, Michigan - January 9, 2011 - Toyota announced today that it is launching a new, advanced safety research center that will collaborate 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 America's roads.
Toyota's new Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) will be based at the Toyota Technical Center (TTC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan and will involve Toyota researchers and engineers from North America and Japan. The new initiative builds on Toyota's ongoing commitment to safety and quality leadership. The company estimates that it will commit approximately $50 million over the next five years to fund CSRC.
The collaborative research will pursue integrated ways to enhance safety, involving the vehicle, driver and traffic environment. Initial areas of focus will include reducing the risk of driver distraction - a growing cause of accidents - and helping to protect the most vulnerable traffic populations, including children, teens and seniors. These populations account for approximately 30% of U.S. traffic fatalities.
In addition, CSRC will conduct in-depth analyses of available accident and human behavior data to support stakeholders' efforts to evaluate and speed deployment of active safety systems.
Announcing the new safety initiative, Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda said, "Toyota's new safety research center will work with leading North American universities and other partners on safety projects that benefit the entire industry. Our investment will support collaborative research aiming to reduce driver distraction and increase the safety of vehicles, drivers, passengers and pedestrians."
Chuck Gulash, a Senior Executive Engineer at the Toyota Technical Center, will serve as Director of CSRC. He will report to Shigeki Terashi, who is a managing officer of Toyota Motor Corporation and the president of TTC.
"Toyota has always tried to take a comprehensive approach to creating a safe, sustainable automotive society through advanced vehicle safety technology, intelligent transport systems and traffic safety education," Mr. Gulash said. "We have a long history of working closely with North American partners to achieve our safety objectives, and our new collaborative research initiative will build on this tradition. We intend to publish as much of the research as possible so that it is available to federal agencies, the industry and academia."
[Source] - http://pressroom.toyota.com/pr/tms/toyota-launches-new-collaborative-190251.aspx