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Media junket to Japan for Toyota technology showcase

Toyota Motor Asia Pacific invited journalists from different countries to join the Toyota Technology Media trip to get experience of Toyota’s safety and environmental efforts. They were brought to the high-security Higashi-Fuji R&D centre, where live oblique frontal crash tests were carried out with Hybrid 4th Generation Prius cars. They were hit at high speeds and crash test dummies in the vehicles were observed restrained in their seats with the seatbelts on and airbags deployed. This is the first time Toyota has shown the crash test to the media. They also experienced the Toyota driving simulator and learned about the software, known as Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS). It comes complete with maps and simulates the injuries sustained by human bodies in vehicle crashes. The journalists got a chance to test drive the world’s first mass produced fuel cell vehicle, the Mirai, which is powered by hydrogen, and a range of hybrid vehicles. On the last day of the trip, Toyota put on a tour of the hybrid vehicle assembly line at the Toyota Tsutsumi plant, as well as the battery assembly line at Primearth EV Energy. Toyota has developed a holistic approach to safety, which it terms the integrated three-part initiative. The three elements of this philosophy are vehicles, people and traffic environment. Toyota has been working with governments to improve the traffic environment and infrastructure. Ultimately, Toyota’s vision is to eliminate traffic fatalities altogether. Photos by Chhim Sreyneang and supplied