Toyota to collaborate with Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations on next-gen taxi; role of automated driving
The Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to study on areas for collaboration, so as to develop and introduce the Japanese taxi of the future.
Toyota’s relationship with the Japanese taxi industry began in 1936, when the Toyota Model AA had been first used as a taxi.
From then on, both parties have established a longstanding and important partnership tradition, which has since been carried on by the current Crown Comfort. As a result of the continued patronizing of Toyota’s vehicles for use as taxis—where an annual 100,000 km (621,000 miles) have been covered in some areas—Toyota has been able to continue to enhance the reliability and durability of its vehicles, so as to provide customers with a safe and pleasant ride.
Toyota is now developing a next-generation taxi. This next-generation taxi is scheduled to become available in 2017.
The two parties will establish a task force that will meet regularly to discuss how to concretely realize the items listed below.
Overview of the memorandum of understanding (MOU).
Popularize taxis that feature universal design (UD) principles and can easily be used by all.
Draw up vehicle specifications that will enhance the hospitality, safety, and convenience that will help make customers happy, and assess the following points necessary to build other peripheral systems.
Enhancement of advanced safety systems.
Enhanced user convenience.
Co-operating on providing services in multiple languages.
In the Tokyo area, both parties will look at ways to collaborate on:
Developing and leveraging future automated driving technologies, which will cater to increasingly diversified groups of drivers which includes the elderly and foreigners among others. This has the overall effect of supporting taxi drivers to ease their workload.
Using taxis to collect and analyze of information on the road traffic environment, and apply those results to the development of the Mobility Teammate Concept, which embodies Toyota’s vision of automated driving. The two will collaborate on experimental business approaches that make use of the automated driving technology which is derived from using the Mobility Teammate Concept.