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Toyota Setting Up New U.S. Safety Center

Maker commits $50 million to new “collaborative” project.

by on Jan.10, 2011

Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda approves a new $50 million safety research center in suburban Detroit.

Toyota is setting up what it has dubbed a Collaborative Safety Research Center at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“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,” Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda said.

The center will utilize Toyota researchers and engineers from North America and Japan.  The company estimates that it will commit approximately $50 million over the next five years to fund CSRC and will also utilize the efforts of Virginia Tech and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Initial areas of focus will include reducing the risk of driver distraction – a growing cause of accidents – and protecting the most vulnerable traffic populations, including children, teens and seniors, who account for 30% of the nation’s traffic fatalities.

In addition, CSRC will conduct in-depth analyses of available accident and human behavior data to help evaluate and speed deployment of active safety systems.

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.