Toyota's Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) has announced 10 new research initiatives and new partnership agreements with the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, as well as six leading North American universities and research institutions, to enhance the development, testing, and implementation of new automotive safety innovations across North America.
The new projects will research subjects ranging from driver education and collision mitigation to accident reconstruction and enhanced crash data analysis. A significant expansion in the center's work, these initiatives build upon the CSRC's initial focus of reducing the risk of driver distraction and better protecting the most vulnerable traffic populations, including children, teens, seniors, and pedestrians.
"In keeping with its collaborative, open research model, the CSRC intends to publish as much of the research from its partnerships as possible to make it available to federal agencies, the industry, and academia," said Chuck Gulash, senior executive engineer at the Toyota Technical Center and director of the CSRC. "This model of sharing Toyota talent, technology, and data with a broad range of institutions, represents a fundamental change for Toyota, moving away from a traditional focus on proprietary research towards a new concern for innovations that benefit the automotive industry and society as a whole."
Along with previously announced partnerships these projects bring the total number of ongoing research programs to 13 for the center. The CSRC initiative will operate on an initial funding budget of $50 million over five years, with plans to announce additional partners and programs over the next year.
Other partners include Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab; The Transportation Active Safety Institute, Indiana University/Purdue University; Wake Forest University; Washtenaw Area Transportation Study; and Wayne State University School of Medicine.