Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) recently held a technical briefing session, “Toyota Technical Workshop,” under the theme “Let’s Change the Future of Cars” and announced a variety of new technologies that will support its transformation into a mobility company.
Hiroki Nakajima, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, explained Toyota’s technology strategy and the direction of future car manufacturing. In addition, he spoke on specific and diverse technologies, including concepts under development, which will help achieve the vision and policies that have been communicated so far. Also speaking were Takero Kato, who has been appointed president of the newly established BEV Factory, and Mitsumasa Yamagata, who is scheduled to be appointed president of the Hydrogen Factory to be launched in July. They elaborated on their respective strategies for the battery EV and hydrogen businesses.
Toyota’s Technology Strategy and Car Manufacturing Direction
Hiroki Nakajima, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer
An explanation of the “Toyota Mobility Concept” was given at the policy briefing in April. The three approaches that hold the key to its realization are electrification, intelligence, and diversification.
In the area of electrification, we will continue to pursue a “multi-pathway approach,” including the introduction of optimal powertrains for each region.
In the area of intelligence, in addition to vehicles and services, we will also promote initiatives to expand our connection with society, such as Woven City.
We will also continue to diversify our business by expanding our scope from “cars” to “society” to include freedom of mobility and diverse energy options for all.
To promote these three themes technologically, we have been shifting resources to Advanced Development fields and actively investing in future-oriented areas since 2016, when the company system was inaugurated.
As of March 2023, we have shifted more than half of our R&D staff and approximately half of our R&D expenses to Advanced Development fields while increasing the total amount. We will further accelerate this trend in the future.
We would like to promote car manufacturing based on three axes. The first is to pursue safety and security without compromise. We will further refine Toyota Safety Sense and deliver safe and reliable technologies to our customers. The second is that the future will be built by everyone. We will create the future by connecting with our colleagues around the world through initiatives such as CJPT’s efforts to decarbonize the commercial sector, our partnership with the CP Group in Thailand, and our collaboration in motorsports. Third, we will accelerate localization. As the needs of our customers in each region will differ further in the future, we will accelerate “development near our customers” at our research and development bases around the world.
Toyota has overcome what were thought to be difficult challenges with its technological capabilities and has developed numerous vehicles that are ahead of the times and paving the way for the future, such as the Prius, now synonymous with hybrid vehicles, and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle. Let’s change the future of cars! We will continue to lead in creating a future society by using the power of technology to transport our customers into the future and connecting cars to society.