With the launch of its Global Vision, Toyota marked its evolution from a trusted, high-quality
automotive brand to one synonymous with innovation. Toyota aims to lead the
future of mobility through product development, sustainability, and a focus on
people. Its value is up 16 percent to USD $49 billion in this year’s Best Global Brands ranking—impressive, especially in the wake of
a June airbag recall that affected nearly 1.4 million of its vehicles.
Toyota has long been at the forefront
consciousness in the auto sector.
In 1997, it released the Prius, its first mass-produced gas-electric hybrid car,
and has since sold more than eight million hybrid vehicles,
including 31 models across the brand’s range. In September 2015, Toyota unveiled a sportier
fourth-generation Prius with standout features to meet the demands of contemporary,
eco-conscious consumers: new automated and intelligent safety packages, a more
comfortable and emotional design, and an increase
in target fuel efficiency from 32.6 km/L to 40 km/L.
Looking toward the future of
sustainable mobility, Toyota focuses on super-efficient clean energy. Its
zero-emissions Mirai is the first hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle to top the
300-mile range. It's also attempting to bring fuel
cell vehicles (FCVs) to the broader market by granting royalty-free use of
approximately 5,680 of its globally held FCV-related patent licenses, including pending applications.
To engage drivers, Toyota is tapping
into their universal sense of adventure. Its global “Feeling the Street” campaign allowed people to vote on their
favorite street musicians from around the world and follow six winners on a New
Zealand road trip. It is also harnessing digital platforms and geo-targeting
technologies to position its cars within the context of peoples’ lives. In the U.S., for example,
Toyota targeted Los Angeles drivers with videos launched in the “Live Story” feature on
Snapchat, and has partnered with Google to
customize ads in 15,000 U.S. cities that inspire real-life, local adventures.
By embracing smart technologies, Toyota
is also making strides to both connect and protect its customers. This year, it
will introduce an Intelligent Transportation System (ITS) safety package to drivers in Japan.
ITS enables the real-time exchange of data between vehicles and
infrastructures, which sensors don’t pick up. Meanwhile, it’s partnering with Panasonic to become a forerunner in
cloud-based connectivity. The Toyota Smart Center will link people, cars, and homes, and include features like GPS-enabled reminders to turn off your air conditioner. This
year, Toyota also joined the autonomous driving race—with a focus on technology that makes
funding new research centers at Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT).
As the largest automobile company in
the world, Toyota’s
pioneering initiatives could have a significant impact on the ways in which
drivers experience their vehicles.