'Car of the Future' Is Here. Now.
ASPEN, CO -- June 27, 2014: Driving helps make lives safer, greener and more convenient at Toyota's "Experience the Future of Mobility" exhibit, open now at the 2014 Aspen Ideas Festival. Toyota is staging the North American debut of its "Car of the Future" at the annual conference. Unveiled earlier this week at a press conference in Japan, the zero-emission hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) will be available for sale to customers in California in summer 2015.
True to the Festival's 2014 focus on imagining the future, the Toyota FCV is an important step forward for zero-emission vehicle technology. An electric-drive, mid-size, four-door sedan, the vehicle won't require customers to compromise on safety, price or performance. Instead, the FCV will travel approximately 300 miles on a single fill-up of hydrogen, which takes less than five minutes.
In addition, Toyota is taking steps to ensure that owners of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be able to fill their tanks, no matter what brand is on the hood. In May, the company announced it had entered a financial relationship with FirstElement Fuels to support the long-term operation and maintenance of 19 new hydrogen refueling stations in California.
"Our society is on the cusp of a revolution in personal mobility," said Osamu Nagata, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing North America. "Slowly but surely, new technologies are changing how we think about automobiles and transportation -- from intelligent, automated systems that team up with drivers to improve safety, to zero-emission vehicles that emit nothing but water vapor. These technologies will help save lives, improve the environment, create jobs and help the U.S. maintain technical leadership in a field that is an important contributor to economic growth."
Nagata will discuss the company's vision for the future of mobility on the Festival's main stage on June 28 during a one-on-one interview with Andrew Ross Sorkin, Financial Columnist, Editor-at-Large, New York Times; Co-anchor, CNBC's "Squawk Box."
In addition to the FCV, Toyota is presenting a comprehensive vision for the Future of Mobility with an interactive exhibit that brings to life emerging automated vehicle technologies and cutting-edge safety research.
The display includes a preview of the Toyota's newest generation Driver Awareness Research Vehicle (DARV 1.5), part of the company's ongoing research into the dynamics of driver distraction at the Collaborative Safety Research Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Toyota DARV 1.5 uses advanced technology, including Microsoft's Surface and Kinect and custom biometric software and algorithms by Infosys, to help driver, passengers and the vehicle itself work together as a team to achieve safer driving.
The technology allows for features such as "driver lock-in," which tracks the driver's body frame and automatically enables or disables features based upon who is interacting with the navigation panel. The Toyota research vehicle also explores new ways to use emerging wearable devices, such as smart watches, to control key vehicle functions in an effort to understand the potential impact of these devices on auto safety. In addition, the Toyota DARV 1.5 looks at new ways to create a safer driving environment by measuring driver behavior and providing a driving "score" based on safe driving choices.
Aspen Ideas Festival attendees will also experience:
A large interactive wall that uses image capture to display the activity of visitors moving about the exhibit, while sharing how next-generation automated safety technologies will team up with drivers to improve safety; Educational information about the technologies, a fueling station to enjoy pour-over coffee, and outdoor living room relaxation area. Toyota is a presenting underwriter of the tenth annual Aspen Ideas Festival, the nation's premier, public gathering place for leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times.