Using technology to explore better, safer car design is just one of many safety projects...

Using technology to explore better, safer car design is just one of many safety projects underway at Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center.

Photo courtesy of Toyota

Toyota has renewed its commitment to advancing safety on the highways and byways with a five-year, $30 million investment in its next phase of automotive safety projects to be conducted at its innovative research center.

Founded in 2011, the automaker launched its Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) to advance safety for the industry as a whole through open partnerships with universities, hospitals, and other institutions.

The mission of Toyota’s CSRC is to generate fresh ideas and breakthrough innovations that help reduce the number of traffic fatalities, which rose to a staggering 42,000 in 2020 in the United States alone.

At CSRC, the theme for the latest initiatives is “Safety for All,” with an eye toward projects that 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.

Specifically, the company says it will invest the new round of funding in projects designed to explore the safety needs of an evolving mobility ecosystem and analyze protection for vulnerable and at-risk populations on our roads.

CSRC has identified three new research tracks to guide its work over the next five years.

The first track is “human centric” which emphasizes the need to help everyone understand, benefit from and interact with the mobility technologies of today and tomorrow. Example areas include new technology training and customer health and wellness.

The second area is “safety assurance,” which has the goal of enhancing the safe operation of future mobility technologies, especially automated driving systems, by studying the traffic environment, human drivers, and possible safety hazards. Examples include getting a deeper understanding of interactions between road users as well as driver engagement in automation.

The third research track is known as “assessment,” which is all about empowering the decisions of individual customers and industry stakeholders by identifying quantitative mobility safety measures. For example, developing new crash protection measures and repeatable test scenarios for new driver assistance and automated features.

Since its inception 10 years ago, CSRC has received $85 million for collaborative safety technology research to help reduce traffic fatalities and injuries. The pioneering group has completed 85 research projects with more than 25 different institutions, published over 260 research papers and engaged more than 300 researchers who have publicly shared the output globally.

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