Sun, 13 Oct 2013 10:58:00 EST
A number of automakers are working on developing fully autonomous cars, but it looks like the groundwork for such technologies will likely show up first as semi-autonomous systems for both safety and convenience. Following recent announcements from Nissan and Ford in this area, Toyota has now released information for some of its advanced semi-autonomous technologies that could be offered in production cars over the next few years.
Sat, 07 Sep 2013 09:01:00 EST
On the safety front, Toyota's new pre-collision system with pedestrian-avoidance steering assist is aimed at protecting the folks who aren't in the car. This system combines visual and audible alerts with automatic brake assist and automatic steering. If warnings don't get the driver to slow down, the brake assist kicks in if a collision is very likely, but if that is still not able to avoid the impending collision (and if there is enough room to do so), the car can automatically steer itself around the pedestrian. This sounds most beneficial for last-second dangers such as a person accidently stepping out into the road in front of a car. Toyota hopes to have this technology available to customers by 2015.
The Japanese automaker is also testing a suite of technologies called Automated Highway Driving Assist (AHDA). The key part of this is a new adaptive cruise control system that uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications rather than a radar-based system. This cooperative-adaptive cruise control allows vehicles to communicate their acceleration and deceleration data with other cars, which Toyota says this helps to improve fuel efficiency and traffic flow. Also a part of AHDA is the Lane Trace Control feature, which sounds like a next-gen lane keep assist. This system uses cameras, radar and a computer to keep the vehicle in a "smooth driving line" by being able to change steering angle, engine torque and braking force. Toyota says this technology could be in place by the "mid-2010s."
The guy who bought the 50-millionth Toyota in the US got a free Camry and RAV4, but whoever in the world bought the 40-millionth Corolla in August gets a hearty "thank you" from the Japanese automaker. On sale since 1966, the Corolla is the best-selling nameplate in the world by a goodly margin (more than the Volkswagen Beetle and Ford Model T combined). So while you'd think that vehicle number 40 million would be sitting in a museum somewhere, Toyota can't even say in which country this milestone Corolla was sold, let alone to which customer.
Mon, 04 Nov 2013 08:43:00 EST
One reason that Toyota is unsure where this Corolla was sold is the fact that the Corolla name itself is more than just the compact sedan sold in the US. On our shores alone, sales of the Matrix are lumped in with the Corolla, but around the world, numerous vehicles wear the Corolla name or share its platform. Scroll down for Toyota's press release, and it has also put together a website celebrating 47 years and 40 million sales for the Corolla... and counting.
The battle to claim October's best-selling compact sedan title has been won by the Honda Civic. The Japanese four-door sold 27,328 units, leaving the Toyota Corolla - September's title holder - in its wake with 23,637 units sold. In terms of year-to-date sales, the Civic sits at 280,899 units, with the Corolla trailing at 257,184 vehicles.
Sitting in third place, separated by a significant gap from the leaders, is the Chevrolet Cruze with 16,087 units sold. The Ford Focus earned fourth, with 15,108 units moved out of showrooms. (It is interesting to note that while the Civic and Corolla have both enjoyed double-digit sales increases year-over-year, the Cruze and Focus have seen significant decreases during the same period.)
Sales of the Hyundai Elantra hit 14,876 units, putting it in fifth place, with the Volkswagen Jetta earning sixth place with 11,710 units. Rounding out the ten top sellers were the Nissan Sentra (8,399 units), Mazda3 (7,647 units), Dodge Dart (5,617 units) and Subaru Impreza/WRX (4,923 units). The Kia Forte (4,706 units) and Volkswagen Golf (2,249 units), eleventh and twelfth respectively, have fallen behind.