“Developments toward the future”
As Akio Toyoda explains, for the future, the company’s wants to appeal to next generations in order to keep alive and fully competitive in the market. The solution will be by developing a series of revolutionary concepts which will re-generate interest in market segment with an age range below 30 years old. Recently statistics have shown that current and future generations have lost interest in personal mobility. Depending on the country the causes can differ, but mainly is due to the fact that automakers and governments are making things more difficult for most of young people. For example government’s taxes on vehicles are very high, as ownership costs and insurance. Furthermore car brands haven’t really explored that market probably because not very profitable and risky at the same time. Although it could also be dangerous for the brand’s image, this specific market can potentially carry a huge amount of innovations that can either improve to market leading extents. It will be also very likely to see vehicles integrating informatics technology to a higher level. Toyota reckons though that the customer will still want to control vehicle’s movement via throttle and brakes pedals. Therefore the company future developments will point toward the ability to set and control routes and to enjoy the experience of travelling. Emphasizing on driving dynamics where the driver has to shift its weight from side to side to balance and change direction of the vehicle. Also the stronger integration and interaction between cars and infrastructure is seen a future selling point. In a country where 80% of roads are not wider than 3.8 meters, hybrid or electric ultra mini mobility vehicles are the only way forward. Crucial will also be preparations for 2020 Tokyo’s Olympic Games. Here the nation will be able advertise its world leading transport network development via the Media. From this major opportunity, Japan could probably improve still with a closer interaction between government controlled infrastructure and automakers to generate a more efficient, cost effective, enjoyable and comfortable society.
Currently Toyota, to develop autonomous driving, is researching at Stanford University via a new simulator which will give new data to analyze in order to understand the interaction between car and user.
In Tokyo motor show starting later this month will also be presented a new hybrid-supermini concept. This design could be a suitable solution for a future leisure/eco compact roadster. To cope with busy metropolis the dimensions have been considered accordingly. The car is 3.8 mt. long and 1.7 mt. wide.
On the same topic, recently pictures of the new “Open” Toyota FT-86 have leaked before the 22nd November official presentation in Tokyo. Although the pre-production model that will be shown will still probably need engineering development, a good structural rigidity has also been developed through the adoption of frameless doors, (in the coupe’ version) reinforced rocker panels, “A” pillars and Bulkhead, the increase in weight is estimated to be around 100kg more than the marketed version.
Edoardo Pandolfini Barberi 17/11/2013
Yomiuri Shimbun (2013) “Toyota’s boss: We’ve entered an era of change” Nation Multimedia [Online] available from:
[8th November 2013]
Darren Moss (2013) “Toyota to show driver awareness vehicle in L.A.” Autocar [Online] available from:
[15th November 2013]
Darren Moss (2013) “Toyota Aqua Air concept planned for Tokyo Motorshow” Autocar [Online] available from:
[14th November 2013]
Mark Tisshaw (2013) “Toyota Ft-86 Open concept’s roof shown” Autocar [Online] available from:
[14th November 2013]
Picture #1 [Online] Teknikens Varld, available from:
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