Something that ought to be top of mind, tends not to be. But it still is for Toyota
By Gary S. Vasilash
One of the areas in automotive development that doesn’t get the attention it deserves—probably as it is not particularly sexy—is safety.
But find yourself in the process of an accident and you hope that the OEM that built the vehicle you’re traveling in is on the leading edge of safety research.
Toyota, which established the Collaborative Safety Research Center 10 years ago with the objective of performing open research with universities and hospitals (the former have lots of smart people and the latter have lots of smart people who are on the receiving end of things gone wrong) is sticking with it, as it has announced a five-year, $30-million commitment to the CSRC.
The CSRC has three research tracks that it is pursuing:
- Human-centric, or helping people understand what advanced mobility can do. Also, customer health and wellness are part of it.
- Safety assurance, or looking into the intersection of human drivers and automated driving systems. Let’s face it: there is going to be a mixed of the manual and the automated for some time to come.
- Assessment, or helping individuals and industry participants understand appropriate decision making predicated on quantitative mobility safety measures.
Explained Dr. Danil Prokhorov, director of Toyota’s Future Research Department and CSRC:
“Humans are at the center of Toyota’s technology development strategy, so we are designing our new safety research in pursuit of ‘Safety for All.’ As part of this, our projects will explore the diversity of safety needs and analyze safe mobility options that accommodate different applications, physical characteristics and levels of accessibility for people and society.”
Safety may not be sexy. But neither is a visit to an ER.