Feb 062017
 

2017 Toyota Mirai - Toyota’s hydrogen-powered car

In 2014, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, Toyota unveiled its Mirai hydrogen-powered car. Since then, it has been offered for sale in certain parts of the United States along with Japan, the UK, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, and Norway. However, it seems Toyota’s hydrogen-powered car may be heading off to new parts of the world soon.

Toyota is collaborating with top energy companies in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to start testing the use of hydrogen-powered vehicles in the region. The first hydrogen station will be built in the country, with construction to begin in May. Once the station is finished, the Toyota Mirai will undergo intense testing in the UAE’s hot climate.

The introduction of the Mirai is part of the UAE’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions. The Mirai only emits water. In addition, it fuels up just like a traditional car instead of needing to be plugged in. Along with that benefit, the Mirai has a longer driving range than traditional EVs. It has an estimated driving range of 312 miles with a full tank of hydrogen.

Along with its worldwide expansion, Toyota is working with energy developers here in the United States to increase the hydrogen infrastructure. In fact, hydrogen stations are under construction right here in the Northeast.

Would you ever consider driving the Toyota Mirai?

Apr 012016
 
Toyota self-driving cars

Could this be the future of Toyota’s self-driving cars? This Fv2 concept has no steering wheel on the inside!

Self-driving cars that anyone can buy are getting closer and closer, but for the moment, Toyota is more interested in developing autonomous “guardian angels” that help drivers rather than replace them.

Toyota’s top research executive Gill Pratt recently said that the automaker is approaching the concept of self-driving cars from two paths—one that removes the driver from the equation altogether and another that supports the driver instead.

That’s not to say that Toyota isn’t interested in making self-driving cars. However, properly functioning, production-ready autonomous vehicles are still a long ways off. In the meantime, developing a semi-autonomous “guardian angel” system is what Toyota sees as the best way to quickly reduce the 1.2 million traffic deaths that occur every year around the world.

“In the same way that antilock braking and emergency braking work, there is a virtual driver that is trying to make sure you don’t have an accident by temporarily taking control from you,” said Gill Pratt.

Jan 152016
 
Toyota autonomous vehicles

Will the new Toyota autonomous vehicles look similar to the current Prius? Only time will tell!

Many automakers are doing their best to put forth the next big thing in the automotive industry: autonomous vehicles, aka, self-driving cars. And, in fact, Toyota is no exception – having recently made a promise to get Toyota autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020.

 

A major component of Toyota’s plans is the Toyota Highway Teammate, which the automaker revealed a while ago. The kind of high-tech sensor technology required for autonomous driving is just what the Toyota Highway Teammate offers.

 

More recently, Toyota made headlines by purchasing a stake in a high-profile artificial intelligence firm, called Preferred Networks. No doubt, this pricey investment – roughly 3% of the company – will translate to top-notch autonomous tech.

 

What’s the next step in Toyota’s plan? Only time will tell.

 

As we approach 2020, hopefully more snippets and details of the upcoming Toyota autonomous vehicles will be revealed. But until then, to check out a regular ‘ole car, visit us anytime at Hurlbert Toyota.

Oct 142015
 

Toyota Mirai FCV Concept

When Toyota began making plans for the release of the 2016 Toyota Mirai fuel cell car, the company predicted it would only need to allocate 1,000 units for the US market. Instead, the US Toyota Mirai demand is far higher than anticipated, causing some customers to have to sign up for a wait list.

In total, Toyota has received over 1,900 orders for the 2016 Mirai from the US market. However, due to the limited amount of models set aside for the US market, not everyone will be receiving their Mirai on time. The website that had been used to place orders only two months ago is now presenting potential buyers with the opportunity to sign up for a wait list. These wait list consumers will be notified when production is available.

Toyota already announced this past January that the company would need to increase production of the 2016 Mirai in an attempt to scramble to keep up with overwhelming global demand for the fuel cell hybrid. One thing is for sure, global Toyota Mirai demand spells success for the hybrid and for the company as a whole. Learn more about the ground-breaking car at Hurlbert Toyota!

Sep 162015
 

Toyota Land Cruiser Interior

The Toyota Land Cruiser gets a major refresh for the 2016 model year, seeing improvements in technology and power. The automaker’s premier luxury SUV has long been the benchmark for the segment and these changes will certainly only enhance the Land Cruiser’s status as such.

As Toyota shared in a press release, the refreshed 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser is “the first in the model’s history equipped with technology designed to help prevent or mitigate collisions.” These exciting new technologies include Frontal Collision Avoidance and Frontal Collision Mitigation, both of which only kick in at speeds less than 24 mph. There’s also Lane Departure Alert, Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Auto High Beams.

Historically, the Land Cruiser has always featured a strong and healthy drivetrain. The 2016 model features a new engine, a 5.7-liter DOHC V8 powerhouse producing 401 lb-ft of torque. Ninety percent of peak torque arrives at 2,200 rpm, meaning you don’t have to stress the powertrain to get the get-up-and-go you need when towing.

According to Toyota, “Land Cruiser customers are among the most loyal in the auto industry.” These awesome changes should only increase that loyalty. Visit Hurlbert Toyota for more information!

Jul 202015
 

Toyota Mirai FCV Concept

With the innovative, potentially game-changing Toyota Mirai coming out later this year, you can bet hydrogen-powered cars are going to be all the rage. Just like when EVs became popular, the question “How do hydrogen cars work?” is sure to be a popular one soon, so here’s a basic rundown.

Hydrogen cars run on hydrogen gas, which is stored in pressure tanks in the vehicle and then passed through a fuel cell stack, where the hydrogen reacts with oxygen to generate electricity. From here, the electricity powers the motor.

Hydrogen cars have an electric battery used to help the car accelerate, but it’s much smaller than the battery in EVs and doesn’t need to be recharged, as regenerative braking and excess electricity from the hydrogen recharge it while driving.

This reaction inside the fuel cell stack releases nothing more than water vapor, so hydrogen cars have zero tailpipe emissions, and the Toyota Mirai has a better mileage range than any zero-emission car on the market at 312 miles. Hydrogen cars are one of our most efficient options, and they’re definitely going to stick around!

Jun 222015
 

Environmental Milestone

Everyone, including Toyota, knows the importance of protecting the environment. This is why Toyota is proud to be named one of the world’s greenest companies. Newsweek recently included Toyota in its list of the greenest Global 500 companies.

Toyota comes in at #35, a jump of 57 spots over last year’s results. Toyota is also #2 among car manufacturers. To measure environmental performance, Newsweek used eight metrics, including energy, water, and waste levels.

“We are proud to be recognized as one of the world’s greenest companies,” said Jim Lentz, Toyota Motor North America chief executive officer, in a statement. “Through continuous improvement, our global teams have made great strides in reducing our environmental impact. From hybrids to fuel cells, Toyota is at the forefront of developing energy efficient technologies. We are deeply committed to contributing to the environment, our communities, and to leading the future of sustainable mobility.”

In addition to producing fuel-efficient, green vehicles, Toyota has been working on reducing its carbon footprint in other areas, too. In North America, Toyota has saved more than 93 million gallons of water and reduced energy by 22% at its manufacturing facilities.

If you’re interested in making your life a little greener, come check out Toyota’s fuel-efficient, green lineup at Hurlbert Toyota.

May 182015
 

Scion FR-S

All this week, Toyota engineers have been putting their racing skills to the test driving in the One Lap of America endurance race. Early tomorrow morning, the racers will have driven 3,456 miles over the course of seven days.

The race started May 2nd in South Bend, Indiana, and made stops in Omaha, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Pueblo, Colorado; Fort Worth, Texas; Plano, Texas; Tulsa, Oklahoma; and Bowling Green, Kentucky. Then, on Saturday, May 9th, the race finished off where it started back in South Bend.

Two Toyota engineers, Anthony Magagnoli and Stephen Byington, drove a specially built TRD Scion FR-S in the race. They, along with 10 other production engineers, all worked together to prepare the car for the race.

“A race like the One Lap, is a true test of man and machine, said lead driver and Toyota Instrumentation Engineer Anthony Magagnoli, in a statement. “Not only is the vehicle pushed to its limits covering nearly 4,000 miles in seven days with race events at 10 racetracks along the way, but the driver and co-driver are pushed to the max as well having to endure long hours in transit between events with no support crew to help with repairs or maintenance along the way.”

To catch up on all the race action, check out updates, pictures, and videos on the Toyota Production Engineering Motorsports Facebook page.

May 042015
 

Toyota Mirai FCV Concept

According to a recent announcement, the brand new 2016 Toyota Mirai model – a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle that emits only water out of its tailpipe – set the pace for the Toyota Owners 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race on April 25th.

This makes the innovative 2016 Mirai the first ever hydrogen-powered pace car at a NASCAR race. The Toyota Mirai pace car set the standard for the racers, but it is also setting a standard for green driving.

The Mirai led the Sprint Cup Series field all the way to the green flag at the Richmond International Raceway. The decision to include the Mirai represents an enormous shift in technology: the first utilization of a hydrogen-powered vehicle in NASCAR.

However – it’s worth nothing that this sort of game-changing moment isn’t new for Toyota, who also brought the first ever hybrid car to pace a NASCAR race in 2009, for the Coca Cola 600. What could be next?

Apr 062015
 

Believe it or not, Toyota recently developed a miniature robotic astronaut to gather data on the International Space Station (ISS). Kirobo, a robot designed to perfect human speech, was used to explore human/robot interaction in space. This new invention revolutionizes speech recognition software in all industries.

According to Toyota, the Kirobo robot was actually developed about two years ago when it was launched into space. Returning on March 12, the Toyota robot astronaut held the world’s first conversation experiment in outer space between a robot and human. The Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) teamed with Toyota to help make the experiment possible.

“Kirobo came safely back to Earth aboard SpaceX’s CRS-5 Dragon cargo supply spacecraft, and then arrived back in Japan on March 12,” said Toyota’s robotics team. “His first words after returning home were: ‘From up above, the Earth glowed like a blue LED.’”

The extraordinary little robot earned its spot in the history books, especially after receiving recognition from Guinness World Records. It broke two records: first, it was the first companion robot in space, and secondly, it had the highest altitude conversation for a robot. Although Toyota hasn’t said if it will use this unique technology in any of its cars, we’ve got our fingers crossed.