Pursuit for Vehicle Safety

Toyota has been implementing "safety" measures to help create safer vehicles. Toyota analyzes the causes of the accident and passenger injuries by using various accident investigation data. These accidents are reenacted in various simulations to create counter-plan technologies.
In addition, experiments on an actual full-scale vehicle are conducted before launching the vehicle. Afterwards, the effectiveness of the technologies is inspected by assessing any accidents that might occur.

We strive to learn from actual accidents to continue to meet industry's ever higher standards in safety.

Toyota not only does their own original accident investigation but also collects many domestic and international accident data to create a safer car.
By using a collision simulator, real vehicle collision experiments were done repeatedly to help develop an excellent body structure and passenger safeguard equipment.
From this, Toyota makes improvements to help create a car that help reduce injuries to the passenger in a possible accident.

The extensive experiments are done at Toyota's Safety Research Institution, which has facility about 39,000 square meters and a total floor space of about 44,000 square meters; 280 meters long and 190 meters wide at max.
The all-weather-condition collision testing ground is made up of 2 barrier collision lanes and a car-versus-car lane. The car-versus-car lane carries out a 2 ton car collision experiment at maximum speeds of 140km. Vehicle collision experiments of different speeds and angles at a 15 degree pitch can also be conducted in this lane.
The collision experiment ground is also capable of conducting various forms of experiments for induced rollover accident.

Here at Toyota, we analyze driving techniques using a driving simulator at the Higashi-Fuji research center in order to help develop active safety technologies to help decrease the number of car accidents.

Driving simulators developed and introduced by Toyota create a driving environment so realistic that the driver does not feel like they are in a simulator. This makes Toyota's driving simulators one of the world's best.
The driving simulator uses driving images and an adjustable speed generator to emulate a situation that is too dangerous to reenact with an actual car or a driving situation under a specified condition.
Studies indicate 93%of accidents are due to driver recognition misjudgment errors (Fig.1).
To help prevent drivers from these types of accidents, Toyota uses this driving simulator to step into the human (driver) domain and has begun the implementation of future active safety technologies.

Not only provide a realistic image, but also recreate realistic sounds and vibrations

There will be a spherical screen inside the dome that spreads a 360 degree high resolution image.
Road vibration would be felt as soon as the driver starts the car. The driver can also hear the road noise and the sound of wind as if they were really driving.
The driver would feel the same acceleration as a real car when adjusting speeds and turning at a curve.
Leading edge technology has made it possible to create a realistic feeling that lets the driver forget that it is a simulator.
These are all innovations to collect realistic driving environmental data from test subjects.

Engaging in decreasing everyday accidents

The views from the vehicle are scenes that are seen when commuting to work or while driving on a day off.
There isn't any drama in that.
This driving simulator can recreate any town that exists in the world with any kind of climate condition.
However, there is a reason why we chose ordinary everyday scenery. The reason lies in the fact that most car accidents occur in an ordinary everyday location.
It is essential to analyze drivers that make mistakes in a normal driving situation and to accumulate those results for developing active safety technology.

Able to test a driving situation that is impossible in the real world

Even when using a test course with a controlled environment, conducting tests on drivers who are drowsy, distracted or driving under the influence of alcohol can be dangerous. However, these simulations can be conducted safely by using the driving simulator.
By using the line of sight measurement device, we research what drivers would be seeing under various conditions.
Concurrently, Toyota measures the amount of driving maneuvers, such as steering, accelerating and braking.
Furthermore, it is possible to obtain a range of data, such as the driver's brain waves and the heart rate, for analyzing the driver's psychological and physiological conditions. By using these, Toyota is researching and creating driving support technologies that will be applied to actual vehicles to keep danger away from the driver.

Toyota began full-scale operations at its ITS Proving Ground, a new test site—within the grounds of the Higashi-Fuji Technical Center in Susono City, Shizuoka Prefecture—established with the aim of reducing traffic accidents through Intelligent Transport System (ITS) technology.

The new 3.5-hectare ITS Proving Ground simulates an urban environment with faithfully replicated roads and traffic signals. The site is equipped with a road-to-vehicle communications system consisting of a vehicle detection system, a pedestrian detection system, a course monitoring system, traffic signals and control devices.
The communications system runs on the 700 MHz band, which was allocated for ITS by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in December 2011. The 700 MHz band is easily diffracted and reception over wide areas is possible, making it effective for communications with vehicles at intersections and other locations with poor visibility.
With the start of full-scale operations at the ITS Proving Ground, Toyota will accelerate its research and development of environmental systems designed to improve fuel efficiency as well as safe driving support systems that seek to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles in urban areas and at intersections.

Toyota is also conducting research and development on next-generation vehicle-infrastructure cooperative systems that support safe driving *1 and that have been designed to prevent accidents involving pedestrians and other vehicles at intersections with poor visibility through the continuous exchange of road-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-vehicle and pedestrian-to-vehicle information.
At the special-purpose ITS Proving Ground, Toyota will work toward the early practical adoption of evermore reliable systems by repeatedly conducting testing and evaluations that can be difficult to perform on public roads with changing road environments.
Toyota considers the elimination of traffic fatalities and injuries the ultimate goal of a society that values mobility, and is therefore conducting research and development on individual onboard safety devices and systems based on its Integrated Safety Management Concept*2, an approach that gives direction to safety technology and vehicle development. Toyota is pressing forward with the development of safer vehicles and technologies and is intensifying its wide-ranging traffic-safety initiatives by participating in the development of safer traffic environments and promoting traffic safety education.

  • *1 A type of Intelligent Transport System that supports safe driving and prevents accidents by wirelessly receiving information from communications infrastructure and from other vehicles to notify the driver about traffic conditions and objects beyond his or her view.
  • *2 An approach to optimal driver support in all stages through integration rather than considering each onboard safety technology and system individually.

Crash test dummies are used to evaluate the impact on the passengers during an automobile crash test. The body type and weight of crash test dummies are modeled like humans. However, because the crash test dummies are solidly built for durability purposes, it is difficult to determine how the internal organs are impacted at the time of the collision. Since 1997, Toyota has been developing computer-based virtual human models, known as THUMS,* to analyze and simulate situations that are closer to the actual accident. *THUMS : Total Human Model for Safety

THUMS consists of bone structure, ligaments and tendons to further replicate human bodies. Toyota analyzes the injuries to the passengers and the pedestrians through the THUMS software used in simulation. The obtained data has been utilized for helping to develop airbags for side oblique collisions and seats that help reduce whiplash injuries in certain low speed rear-end collisions (WIL Concept Seat). Not only is THUMS utilized by Toyota, but researchers from around the world also have been using it to contribute to improved safety performance.
Additionally, THUMS is constantly being improved. In 2009, Version 4 was developed. It made it possible to analyze, in detail, the impact to internal organs, such as lungs, heart and liver. Toyota will next advance development by adding more body types, such as petite women, and more detailed information on muscles to simulate closer to actual accidents.

On October 3rd, 2011, Toyota Motor Corporation introduced the "THUMS Academic Package" for researchers at universities and other research institutions. The package makes Toyota’s proprietary virtual dummy simulation software available at a reduced price so that it can be used to help further research into the fields of safety technology.
For more information on the "THUMS Academic Package", please contact:


Toyota's globally renowned safety

Toyota cars have been highly praised in safety tests run by third party organizations. We are providing extremely safe cars to all our customers regardless of country or region.

information : 2015 December

Approaching "Real-World Safety" from a variety of angles to verify the practical safety of Toyota vehicles. Behind this is Toyota's sincere dedication to realize its ultimate goal: zero casualties from traffic accidents.