Toyota/Lexus News May 27 , 2016

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Here is a weekly recap of news for the week ending May 27, 2016.

Toyota, Lexus News Recap - May 27, 2016

Uber and Toyota sign partnership agreement.

Toyota and Uber to Explore Ridesharing Collaboration

Toyota and Uber announced a partnership to explore collaboration, starting with trials, in the world of ridesharing in countries where ridesharing is expanding, taking various factors into account such as regulations, business conditions, and customer needs. As part of the partnership, Toyota Financial Services Corporation and Mirai Creation Investment Limited Partnership are making a strategic investment in Uber and will create new leasing options in which car purchasers can lease their vehicles from Toyota Financial Services and cover their payments through earnings generated as Uber drivers.


iBOT Poised for Comeback; Toyota and Dean Kamen Enter an Agreement to Facilitate Innovations that Foster Mobility Solutions for the Disabled Community

Toyota Motor North America is joining forces with DEKA Research and Development, the company founded by legendary inventor Dean Kamen, to support mobility solutions for the disabled community. This agreement will help DEKA to proceed with plans to complete the development and launch the next generation iBOT motorized wheelchair. The iBOT is a revolutionary motorized wheelchair with two sets of powered wheels that can be rotated to allow the user to “walk” up and down stairs. The wheelchair allows users to rise from a sitting level to approximately six feet in height and travel in this “standing” configuration, and is capable of traveling through a wide variety of terrain types.


Toyota Indiana Celebrates 20 Years of Production

Toyota’s Princeton, Ind., plant is celebrating 20 years of building vehicles. What started as the original plant to make the Tundra, now boasts the Sienna minivan, Sequoia full-size SUV and the Highlander and Highlander Hybrid midsize SUV. Over the past 20 years, Toyota Indiana has built 4.45 million vehicles.


Documentary Series ‘It Got Better’ Returns to L/Studio for Third Season on Lexus content channel

The third season of docuseries “It Got Better,” a collaboration between the creative team of Lisa Kudrow and Dan Bucatinsky’s Is Or Isn’t Entertainment (“The Comeback”; “Web Therapy”; “Who Do You Think You Are?”) and Dan Savage (“Savage Love”) and the It Gets Better Project, premiered this week on Lexus’ digital content channel L/Studio ( With the series’ third season debut, L/Studio demonstrates its continued support of this passion project from Kudrow/Bucatinsky, who produced the channel’s Emmy-nominated and Webby award-winning “Web Therapy” series.


Students’ Concept for Mobility App for the Blind Wins National Challenge from Toyota and Net Impact

Imagine an average commute. Perhaps you wait for a bus, walk through crowded streets and ride an elevator up to your office. Now, imagine doing it without being able to see clearly or even at all.  A team of students did just that and came up with an idea for a solution that won first prize in the Next Generation Mobility Challenge, a new competition to inspire millennials to address critical mobility needs from Net Impact, Toyota and the Toyota Mobility Foundation. The students’ winning concept, StreetSmart, is an app that would help people who are blind or visually impaired navigate their surroundings with greater confidence. The winning students are: Esther Kim (Rhode Island School of Design), John Mathai (Olin College), Ayush Singhal (Babson College) and Niklaus Sugiri (Babson College).


Toyota and National Volunteer Transportation Center Outline Partnership

Toyota is launching a comprehensive, multi-phased partnership with the National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC) to improve accessibility and efficiency of transportation solutions for the elderly and disabled. The National Volunteer Transportation Center (NVTC), an initiative of the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA), promotes and supports more than 800 volunteer driver programs in 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.


Toyota Presents 15th Annual STAR Awards to Recognize Volunteer Transportation Services

Toyota presented the 2015 STAR Awards for volunteer transportation service at the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) EXPO in Portland, Ore.


Top Tips to Help Keep Kids Safe in Cars This Summer from Buckle Up for Life

Barbecues, fireworks, s’mores and swimming – they’re summer classics. They rarely change because when you know something works, you stick with it.  You know what else stands the test of time? Car seat safety tips.

Also worth noting…


  • Toyota Prius Sets New MPG Standard in Consumer Reports’ Tests – Consumer Reports’ testing of the all-new 2016 Toyota Prius produced the highest fuel economy of any vehicle Consumer Reports has ever tested. CR achieved 52 mpg overall, which is higher than the 44 mpg by the previous-generation Prius and leapfrogs the original Honda Insight’s 51 mpg from 2000. Full story here:
  • Toyota Showcases Automated Driving Technology to World Leaders at G7 Summit – Toyota offered test drives of an experimental vehicle featuring a newly developed automated driving system, Urban Teammate, during the 42nd G7 Summit in Ise-Shima.
  • ASQ Honors Toyoda with Quality Award – Last week, the American Society for Quality (ASQ) awarded Toyota Global President Akio Toyoda the Juran Medal at its World Conference on Quality and Improvement in Milwaukee. Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz accepted the award on Toyoda’s behalf. According to ASQ, The Juran Medal is for “distinguished performance in a sustained role as an organizational leader guiding an organization to a state of leadership in quality.” The ceremony’s program cites Toyoda’s actions during the recalls, including his testimony in front of Congress that brought Toyota back from a difficult time of quality issues to unparalleled levels of quality and customer satisfaction. ASQ also credits Toyoda as a “tremendous model for others in how to humbly work to improve quality.”

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