Toyota is planning to launch its new Collaborative Safety Research Center at its technical safety center in Ann Arbor, MI. The new Research Center will provide additional work for over 1,000 Toyota employees who work in Ann Arbor as well as a complex in York Township.
Senior Executive Administrator for External Affairs at Toyota Technical Center, Bruce Brownlee, says, "Our president made a commitment to Congress to take a leadership role in automotive safety and this is an effort to live up to that commitment."1 Toyota plans to invest an estimated $50 million into the project, over the next five years.
The Collaborative Safety Research Center will focus its attention on finding ways to decrease driver distraction and protect children, teens, and seniors who reportedly account for about 30 percent of deaths from car crashes in the U.S. In their effort to enhance driver safety, Toyota's engineers will work with researchers at universities and hospitals, starting with the University of Michigan, Virginia Tech, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.
Two initial projects of the Collaborative Safety Research Center include helping Virginia Tech and the National Institute of Health explore an electronic coaching and monitoring system aimed at helping teenagers to learn to drive more safely and helping the Philadelphia children's hospital create a pilot of a national crash surveillance system focused on child passengers. Data from the pilot will ultimately be used to help assess safety technology effectiveness.