Section 9. Preparations for Mass Production and Mass Sales
Item 7. Establishment of the Toyota Technical Center
Completion of a test track
After the Technical Center was built, a prototyping plant (792 square meters) was completed in November 1955, followed by a test track in September 1956. The test track was constructed at a 330,000 square meter-site on the eastern side of the Technical Center, and included a two-kilometer oval test track suitable to 100-kilometer/hour driving and a washboard road with a total length of 200 meters. In 1957, a skidpad for testing turning performance, as well as a Belgian brick road and a cobblestone road for testing vibration noise, were installed. Then, in 1959, a special 'corrugated' road, a twisted road, and steep hill were added, making it possible to carry out a wider range of vehicle performance testing.
In November 1966, at a vast site in Susono-cho, Sunto-gun, Shizuoka Prefecture, Toyota built an automobile performance proving ground (which later became the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center). This center, equipped with a 3.7-kilometer high-speed circuit and a 1.3-kilometer horizontal straightway, was used to test high-speed durability, high-speed maneuverability, braking performance, vibration, and noise.
Toyota later built the Shibetsu Proving Ground, a vehicle testing facility in Hokkaido, and began operations there in October 1984. Since Hokkaido's winter temperatures can drop as low as negative 20 degrees celsius, the Second Circuit, the Third Circuit, and a hill for testing vehicles under cold driving conditions were completed first, and then a high-speed 10-kilometer oval test truck suitable to 250-kilometer/hour driving was built in 1987.
Toyota's vehicle proving grounds, which began with the two-kilometer oval test truck suitable to 100-kilometer/hour driving completed in 1956, continued to evolve to handle speed increases and the globalization of cars.
In April 1993, the Arizona Proving Ground of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc. Toyota Technical Center (TEMA-TTC) was completed in Wittman, Arizona. At this proving ground, which is equipped with a 10-mile (16-kilometer) oval test track, Toyota is conducting continuous driving tests at 250 kilometer/hour under blazing hot temperatures exceeding 40 degrees celsius.