Technical Development

Vehicle Performance and Testing

This section also includes a description of organizations, facilities, and systems related to vehicle performance and evaluation.

Technology developed and applied
Further details
A facility and test course for evaluating vehicles in Tahara Plant completed
- A comprehensive vehicle evaluating facility and test course that recreates every possible usage environment encountered worldwide, including bad roads, flying rocks, dust, and water submersion, with the aim of improving vehicle performance as well as the efficiency of evaluation under unusual environments

First test track completed at the Shibetsu Test Track
- Makes it possible to evaluate actual vehicles simulating high-speed driving conditions in Europe

Four-wheel, multi-axis bench tester for vehicle durability introduced
- Significantly shortens time required for evaluating vehicle reliability and durability, improving efficiency and evaluation accuracy
Further details
Snow testing room (Engineering Building 11) completed
- Makes it possible to evaluate vehicles under snowy conditions throughout the year, improving the efficiency of vehicle performance enhancement and evaluation

Product Evaluation & Engineering Division established
- Established as an organization with a focus on improving product characteristics and development based on vehicle models; Product Division works especially closely with Z (Product Planning Division) and promotes overall vehicle performance development, helping to enhance product appeal,shorten the time required for product development and reduce development cost

Shibetsu Vehicle Evaluation & Advanced Engineering Division established
- Split off from the Technical Administration Division to become an independent division in both name and substance; Key location for evaluating vehicles under cold climate conditions

Center System implemented
- Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Division I, II, and III established to handle specific models, promoting performance planning proposals that strive to reconcile conflicting performance parameters

Vehicle Engineering Division newly established
- R&D organizations restructured and strengthened
Further details
Vehicle Engineering Division significantly reorganized
- Reorganized by function into Groups 1K through 7K; Overall responsibility for each performance class assigned to the Functional Project General Manager of each group, thereby clarifying roles
Further detailsSame as Vehicle Engineering Division newly established

Global Outstanding Assessment (GOA) collision-safety body developed
- Developed with the goal of achieving a safety performance level at the top of its class worldwide
Further details

Iki-Iki Committee established
- Reforms the personnel system and the way technical employees work (Assistant Manager, Group Leader, and Team Leader => CL, CX, GL, SX, and EX)


Branch office of the Shibetsu Vehicle Evaluation & Advanced Engineering Division established within the Head Office
- Working closely with planning and design divisions at the Head Office to ensure high performance of developed vehicles in cold climates

Operation of the Collision Safety Component Test Ground commenced
- High-performance, impact sled tester installed, promoting efficiency improvement by shifting from vehicle evaluating to component-level evaluating

Total Human Model For Safety (THUMS) developed and licensing to other companies commenced
- A virtual human body model called 'THUMS' developed for analyzing human injury mechanisms; Subsequently utilized in developing the pedestrian-injury-lessening vehicle body, whiplash injury-lessening seats, etc

Technical Workforce Reconstruction Project established
- Implements expansion of shop floor employee duties

Prevention of Quality Problem Division prevention activities commenced
- To promote quality improvement in engineering divisions, with the goals of completely preventing defects from reaching customers throughout the entire manufacturing phase, from pilot production to mass production, and building a prevention framework; Implements measures such as pilot/mass production reliability check, Design Review based on Failure Mode (DRBFM) promotion, achievement of perfect quality (reduction of warranty repairs), and Early Detection and Early Resolution (EDER) activity promotion in cooperation with the Quality Audit Department in each field; Prevention of Quality Problem Division prevention activities later transferred to the BR Development Operation Reform Promotion Department

Plant No. 9 completed
- Strengthens prevention of market failures by enhancing evaluation of overall durability performance

All-Weather Resin Tank Flame Resistance Testing Facility completed
- Outdoor type changed to all-weather type to cope with increased use of resin tanks

Advanced CAE Division established
- Created by integrating the CAE organizations of the Body Design, Chassis Engineering, and Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Divisions; Vehicle development process shifts to a process that assumes CAE utilization
Further details
Center System enhanced and Function Department General Manager system adopted through Break Through Toyota (BT2) reorganization

All-Weather Collision Testing Facility completed in Higashi-Fuji Technical Center
- One of only a handful of indoor testing facilities worldwide capable of testing all collision modes such as car-to-car, rollover, etc.

Pre-crash Safety (PCS) System commercialized
- A system that uses a sensor to detect the possibility of a collision to soften the potential impact on the driver; Installed in the Harrier for the first commercialization in the world

Universal Design initiative launched
- Two types developed: (1) the Ergo-index for use in developing vehicles that are easy to use based on the dimensions and actions of the various parts of the human body, and (2) the Scene Compatibility index for increasing the intangible value of the vehicle by proposing a new lifestyle; Adopted in the new Raum

Vehicle Performance Development Division established
- Following the establishment of the Center System, the role of the Evaluation & Engineering Division expands to include responsibility for vehicle performance and quality development before drawing release and after pilot production; Division and department names reassessed to help establish and enhance the vehicle development system by expressing the expanded missions and functions in an easier-to-understand way and unifying intentions both inside and outside the division
Further details
Tahara High-speed and Durability Test Track paved, significantly shortening testing time and driving distance
- Paving and input increase make it possible to conduct testing even when the coefficient of friction (μ) of the road surface drops in rainy weather, cutting the distance required by half and driving time by more than half

Operation of the Market Environmental Investigation System commenced
- A system developed for long-term measurement of how customers use their vehicles; Operation across the globe commenced

Virtual & Real Simulator (VRS) for vehicles introduced
- A chassis dynamo possessing lower inertia, higher response, and higher accuracy than the conventional dynamo is adopted; Controlling the motor using a physical model for the vehicle' s usage environment makes it possible to evaluate vehicles with high reproducibility under virtual driving conditions (low-friction road, uphill, gear ratio change, etc.)

Toyota Production System (TPS) concept introduced into the Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Field
- With the goal of completely eliminating reworking in the development and evaluation areas, Toyota promotes TPS initiatives in its development divisions (covering all functions, including collision testing, CV evaluation of actual vehicles, and strength evaluation)

CF perfect-quality initiative
- Quality problems are classified and analyzed one by one to carry out complete review of TS, inspection activities (with careful attention given to changes in drawings), chassis parts reliability limit evaluation, screening enhancement, etc.

Genchi Genbutsu DR (GGDR) System established
- Creates an evaluation team separate from the team in charge of an individual model to evaluate the vehicle from the customer' s viewpoint to help prevent defects from going out the factory door

Technical Development System Building Initiative launched
- Clearly defining individual evaluation units improves accuracy in projecting the number of process steps required

Four-wheel, multi-axis bench tester for vehicle durability modified into a six-axis type
- Developed with the goal of improving both the evaluation accuracy and vehicle performance

BRICs Meister System established
- Develops experts who are thoroughly familiar with BRIC regions and can provide input for developing vehicles suitable to these regions

Center System reorganized by performance into Gijyutubu Innovation 20 (GI20)
- Recognizing that after 16 years, continuing to work under the Center System hinders the achievement of further performance improvement, departments are reorganized according to vehicle performance parameters; Vehicle model-focused concept kept intact in some specialized areas; Results in an efficient and transparent organization
Further details
Product Audit Department established (attached to the Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Field)
- To take the initiative in the Vehicle Evaluation & Engineering Field and prevent quality problems that affect customer safety, the Special Committee for Global Quality reorganizes the organization of quality auditing, with the following three objectives:
(1) Consolidate functions for conducting audits from the customer' s viewpoint and preventing defects from reaching customers into a separate group from the development departments and thereby enhance these functions
(2) Centralize collection of customer complaints, requests, etc., to facilitate their evaluation, helping to prevent recurrence
(3) Strengthen functions that keep engineers and technicians working as a team to discover and identify any signs of problems in the development phase

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