Dirt Races, Road Course on Tap for Toyota Racers This Weekend

Rally RAV4 drivers Ryan Millen and Rhianon Gelsomino will look to finish a perfect season in Minnesota as Toyota racers prepare for a pair of dirt races and a NASCAR road course contest scheduled for the upcoming race weekend.

August 25, 2017
The Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series have the weekend off, while the NASCAR XFINITY Series (NXS) visits their third and final road course of the season in Wisconsin’s Road America on Sunday.
Camry drivers Christopher Bell and James Davison will join NXS full-timer Matt Tifft to fill the Joe Gibbs Racing (JGR) lineup on the 4.048-mile road course. Tifft and Bell, who is making just his third-career NXS start, will make their Road America debuts this weekend, while Davison made his NXS debut at the track in 2016 when he finished 19th.
“All of the road-course experience up to this point can only help as we prepare for a tough track in Road America,” said Tifft, who will also compete in the ARCA race at Road America this weekend. “Running double duty will help me get some track time to learn what the best lines are for racing and I think we will definitely compete at the top of the board on Sunday.”

Toyota Injects Style and Technology in 2017 Toyota 860 Special Edition


Torrance, Calif., March 13, 2017 – The 2017 Toyota 86 will turn more heads than ever with the new 860 Special Edition that adds stand-out styling, premium features and performance technology.

“The 86 is recognized by enthusiasts for its impressive driving performance and its value-oriented price tag,” said John Myers, Toyota national manager vehicle marketing and communications. “The 860 Special Edition will amplify these core elements with an added dose of premium styling mixed with performance technology.”

On the outside, the 860 Special Edition will command attention with its exclusive Supernova Orange paint that is contrasted by its black body stripes, rear spoiler, heated outside mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels. Topping it off, the special edition gets LED fog lights and a unique aerodynamic underbody panel for added style and function. The special edition will also be available in Halo White, and only 860 units of each color will be made.

The interior features the perfect combination of luxury and performance with heated front seats in black leather with orange stitching. The same contrasting black and orange theme continues to the leather-trimmed steering wheel, shift boot and parking brake lever. Each 860 Special Edition features a unique center console placard that signifies its exclusivity.

Read the full article on Toyota's website: http://toyotanews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/2017+toyota+860+special+edition.htm?view_id=40383

Toyota Supports Preservation of African-American Historic Places


Contributes $10,000 to The National Trust for Historic Preservation

Conducts Three-State Roadshow to Iconic African-American Sites

WASHINGTON (Feb. 27, 2017) – Taking a drive down memory lane is a way to connect to the past, and much like a photograph, visiting historical landmarks can stir emotions and educate the next generation.
As part of Black History Month, Toyota teamed up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) to help raise awareness of America’s often overlooked yet not so hidden historic African-American treasures, for a road show to three states and contribution to help restore endangered, iconic African-American sites.
“The National Trust for Historic Preservation couldn’t be more pleased that when Toyota says, “let’s go places” it also means the historic places we care about,” said Marita Rivero, chairman of the board of trustees, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “ We believe there is no more powerful way to learn about who we are and where we are headed than from the very places where history happened.  It is an honor to receive this generous donation from Toyota to further our efforts in ensuring that the full breadth of the American story is told.”

Read the rest here: http://corporatenews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota+african+american+historic+tour+2017.htm?view_id=40383

Toyota Leads the Industry with the Most IIHS 2017 ‘Top Safety Pick+’ Awards

"Nine Toyota and Lexus Models Earn Institute’s Highest Recognition for Crashworthiness, Front Crash Prevention and Headlight Quality

For the third year in a row, Toyota has topped the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) annual list of safety awards. Twelve Toyota and Lexus vehicles won IIHS awards in 2017, with nine receiving its highest award, the TOP SAFETY PICK+, the most of any manufacturer."

Read about why Toyota leads in the industry with the most IIHS 2017 'Top Safety Pick+' Awards here: http://corporatenews.pressroom.toyota.com/releases/toyota-leads-industry-iihs-top-safety-picks.htm?view_id=40383

Toyota takes top honors for Electric/Hybrid category at Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards


This year the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime was named the Electric/Hybrid Best Buy of 2017. The car is being honored for being the best new-vehicle choice available in the U.S. market. The new Prius is doing what no other car has done before. Delivering 640 miles total full-charge/full-tank driving range. Along with a revolutionary design, advanced technology such as the 11.6-in. HD multimedia display and a well-documented history of reliability and low ownership costs. 

Read more about the new 2017 Prius Prime and why it was honored with the award on the official Toyota New website here.

Toyota could have it's own off road vehicle on the way!


Just a little over a week ago, Toyota filed for a trademark on the name "Toyota FT-4X." With that discovery by AutoGuide, this could be the hint for a new off road vehicle from Toyota. It's very possible we may see more about this concept soon. Read on the AutoBlog more about what they have found:


Engineers of Tomorrow: Toyota Helps Michigan Science Center ‘Catch ‘Em All’


$1.44 Million Donation to Renovate Theater, Increase Reach of STEM Education

Detroit (July 21, 2016) -- Inspiring today’s students to become tomorrow’s science and engineering leaders is something Toyota believes is critical to society. Whether it’s autonomous cars, flying cars or something that has yet to be envisioned, the future of mobility depends on sparking children’s interests in engineering and science careers.

Likewise, as the region continues to face a shortage of STEM professionals, it is important to expose children to the different opportunities and career choices available to them. In support of creating that next generation of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) professionals, Toyota has donated $1.44 million to Michigan Science Center (MiSci) located in Midtown Detroit. This donation is the latest of many efforts by Toyota to promote and expand STEM education initiatives.

“It’s critical to foster innovative thinking at a young age,” said Toyota Technical Center Senior Vice President Jeff Makarewicz. “Developing that interest early on can create great opportunities not only for students, but for the industry as well. We’re excited to make this donation, and for our continued partnership with the Michigan Science Center.”

The donation will be used to transform and upgrade the Toyota Engineering Theatre (TET). The TET is a unique, 4D multi-media experience that engages visitors with the transformative, dynamic and exciting world of engineers and engineering.

Since MiSci’s opening in 2012, the TET has hosted more than 94,000 students, families and curious minds of all ages. In the past 8 years however, engineering has changed and the STEM sector has continued to grow. With Toyota’s support, MiSci will be able to meet these new demands and upgrade the theater’s technology, creating a more robust experience. The upgrades will include a state-of-the-art HD projection system with 3D viewing capabilities; enhanced space and lighting for a more immersive experience, and the creation of universally designed videos that play in 4D theaters and standard digital media players.

The funding will also help MiSci expand its ability to foster STEM education by developing all-new programming and educational connected learning initiatives for both teachers and students.

“Toyota’s donation allows the Science Center to do more than just upgrade the TET. This is an opportunity for us to present STEM in a relatable and relevant way, while increasing student interest in STEM careers,” said Tonya Matthews, Michigan Science Center president and CEO. “This opportunity allows us to continue our mission of being a premier institute for STEM learning and experiences in Michigan.”

The Toyota Engineering Theatre and connected learning programs are designed to combat common misconceptions surrounding engineering by portraying engineering and the world of science and math in a fun, dynamic way.

Toyota Presents Community Stars

Fifteenth Annual STAR Awards Recognize Volunteer Transportation Services
Toyota Prius Awarded to the Senior Connection

PORTLAND, ORE. (May 24, 2016) - Through the passenger-side window, 83-year-old Ferne Fabis points with excitement at the new bakery set to open soon near her home in Rockville, Maryland. New people and places have always been Ferne’s passion – even after a leg injury forced her to give up her driver’s license.
Now, at least once a week, Ferne travels with volunteer drivers from the Senior Connection. Sometimes it’s to the grocery store, other times the doctor’s office, but every time Ferne says it’s the wonderful volunteers that make the difference. It’s this commitment to keeping seniors like Ferne connected to their community that has earned the Senior Connection national recognition and a new Toyota Prius.
Today, Toyota presented the 2015 STAR Awards for volunteer transportation service at the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) EXPO in Portland, Ore.  In addition to the Senior Connection’s Grand Star Award 2016 Toyota Prius, $50,000 in cash awards were presented to 15 award-winning volunteer transportation programs across America (see complete award recipient list below).  
“Mobility is about more than getting from A to B,” said Latondra Newton, Toyota Motor North America group vice president, social innovation. “Mobility is about connection - to loved ones, the community and needed services. The staff and volunteers of the Senior Connection aren’t just drivers, they are conductors of these community connections, as are all the STAR award winning organizations.”
This year’s Grand STAR Award winner, the Senior Connection, is the largest provider of free, volunteer transportation to seniors in Montgomery County, MD.  Since 2004, the Senior Connection has provided more than 280,000 services to over 7,000 seniors, with the help from more than 1,800 community volunteers.
“To know that organizations like Toyota recognize the importance of volunteer transportation and the power of what we are doing, it’s just huge,” said Tim Shaw, executive director of Senior Connection. “I really believe that this sort of support can drive change in communities across the country to do more to help seniors stay mobile and stay connected.”
2016 STAR Award applications are now available online= athttp://nationalvolunteertransportationcenter.org.  The 2016 Grand STAR Award Winner will receive a Toyota Mobility Sienna minivan. 
In their 15th year, the annual STAR Awards recognize outstanding volunteer transportation programs and enable winners to continue the involvement of their volunteer drivers in promoting and providing transportation services. The awards are organized by the National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC), an initiative of the CTAA. The NVTC provides technical and informational support to volunteer driver programs in the U.S.

  • The Senior Connection – Silver Spring, MD


  • The Senior Care Volunteer Network – Crystal Lake, IL


  • TASC – Hampton, NH
  • Hearts and Hands: Faith in Action – Getzville, NY


  • Foothills Caring Corps – Carefree, AZ
  • Dial-a-Bus of Benton County – Corvallis, OR
  • Reach Out Morongo Basin – Twentynine Palms, CA


  • Elder Buddies – Bangor, ME
  • Friendly Visitor Program – Middletown, NY
  • Faith in Action Caregivers – Martins Ferry, OH
  • Indian River County Ambulance – Vero Beach, FL

ECCHO – Port Townsend, WA

  • Escorted Transportation Service NW – Arlington Heights, IL
  • Interfaith Caregivers of Haddonfield – Haddonfield, NJ
  • In Service of Seniors – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Interfaith Senior Programs – Waukesha, WI


  • Veteran and Countrywide Volunteer Transportation Program – Sturgeon Bay, WI
  • Rural Transit Service, Inc. – Brant, NY
  • RSVP of Dane County: Driver Services – Madison, WI
  • Patient Navigators – Framingham, MA
  • Kibbitz & Ride Volunteer Transportation Program – Delray Beach, FL
  • Silver Spring Village, Inc. – Silver Spring, MD
  • NORC Volunteer Transportation Services – Atlanta, GA
  • Catholic Charities – Honolulu, HI
  • Wet Mountain Valley Rotary Community Service – Westcliffe, CO
  • Red Cross Transportation Service – Grand Rapids, MI
  • Shepherd’s Center of Greater Tupelo – Tupelo, MS
  • St. Claire’s Catholic Social Services – Hyannis, MA

On the Road to Autonomous Driving, Toyota Establishes Ever Deeper Roots in Ann Arbor Tech Community with Third US Research Facility

Toyota Research Institute-ANN Will Fund Artificial Intelligence, Materials Science and Robotics Research at University of Michigan
Walking Distance to Campus, Facility Targets Staff of 50

SAN JOSE (April 7, 2016) -- Dr. Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute (TRI), announced today that Toyota will establish its third TRI facility in the U.S. The new facility will be located in Ann Arbor, near the University of Michigan (U-M) campus where it will fund research in artificial intelligence, robotics and materials science.  Joining the TRI facility established last January in Palo Alto working with Stanford (TRI-PAL), and in Cambridge working with MIT (TRI-CAM), TRI-ANN is scheduled to open in June and target a staff of approximately 50.
“Beyond the extraordinary work that U-M is doing broadly in advancing automotive safety research—and in autonomous driving, in particular-- Toyota has deep roots in the Ann Arbor community,” said Pratt, in keynote remarks at the GPU Technology Conference today. “TRI was drawn to Ann Arbor because of the strength of the university; the utility of Mcity and the Mobility Transformation Center which we currently sponsor; the promise of the future American Center for Mobility at Willow Run; and the proximity to, and synergies with, our two well-established Toyota Technical Centers nearby.”
The Toyota Technical Centers have been conducting research in the area of autonomous cars for more than a decade.  A group of about 15 team members will transfer to the new TRI-ANN facility when it opens.  U-M Professors Ryan Eustice and Edwin Olson are joining TRI-ANN as the area leads for mapping/localization and perception, respectively. Both will be based at the Ann Arbor office, and will retain their U-M faculty positions. 
"Sensor hardware and algorithms are improving at a tremendous pace. TRI researchers will push the frontier even further, with the goal of providing safer vehicles and more helpful robots in the home," said Olson.  Eustice added, “Ann Arbor is a fantastic location for TRI to expand its autonomous driving efforts. We will benefit from Toyota’s existing team and U-M’s research talent and facilities where we can perform extreme-limit testing in a wide variety of environments.”
Although the focus of each of the three strategically located facilities will be broad, each will feature a different core discipline.  TRI-ANN will focus primarily on fully autonomous (chauffeured) driving.  TRI-PAL will work on what may be termed “guardian angel” driving, where the driver is always engaged but the vehicle assists as needed. TRI-CAM will dedicate a large portion of its work to simulation and deep learning.
The Toyota Research Institute is an enterprise designed to bridge the gap between fundamental research and product development.  With initial funding of $1 billion, it has four initial mandates.
First, it will strive to enhance the safety of automobiles with the ultimate goal of creating a car that is incapable of causing a crash, regardless of the skill or condition of the driver.
Second, it will work to increase access to cars to those who otherwise cannot drive, including seniors and those with special needs.
Third, it will help translate Toyota’s expertise in creating products for outdoor mobility into products for indoor mobility; moving people and goods across the country, across town, or across the room.
Finally, TRI will accelerate scientific discovery by applying techniques from artificial intelligence and machine learning, particularly in the area of materials science.  Using computation and machine learning, it hopes to accelerate scientific discovery in this area, lowering costs and improving performance of future mobility systems.
Beyond the projects it will engage in with the three universities (more than 30 are already underway at Stanford and MIT), TRI is enthusiastically pursuing collaboration with other automakers, IT companies, suppliers, research labs and universities to jointly develop autonomous technologies.
“Although the industry, including Toyota, has made great strides in the last five years, much of what we have collectively accomplished has been easy, because most driving is easy,” said Pratt.  “Where we need autonomy to help most is when the driving is difficult.  It’s this hard part that TRI intends to address. Toyota’s goal is safer mobility for all, at any time, in any place, and the tremendous improvements in quality of life that such universal mobility can bring.”

Environment: Watch It Like a Hawk

Toyota team members are creatures of habitat.
And a few who test vehicles for performance and reliability have become a part-time pit crew for red-tailed hawks at Toyota Arizona Proving Ground (TAPG) in Phoenix.
The situation took flight in June 2008 when a plumed pair built a nest on a utility pole at the facility. Unfortunately one of the adults died, leaving behind a chick.
“We called in the experts,” says Daryl Petry, TAPG senior specialist. “Liberty Wildlife brought the baby hawk to their rehabilitation center and nurtured it for six months then brought it back for release.”
Hawks often refurbish nests used in previous years, and team members hoped to entice the surviving parental unit to return. But for safety concerns – and to avoid power outages – team members put up a 15-meter pole and transferred the nest to it.
Giving the roost a boost worked. The high-traffic hatchery has been home to eight additional hawks, and team members continue to watch over them.  Earlier this year, they found a chick out of the nest, and again they called Liberty Wildlife, which rehabilitated the young hawk.
“Many thanks to the wildlife specialists for helping us make this a success,” says Petry.  “The hawks are amazing to watch.”
To see other ways Toyota and its people nurture nature, shake a tail feather over to Toyota’s 2015 North American Environmental Report. #ToyotaEnviroReport