Ann Arbor, Michigan – Toyota will launch a new, advanced safety research centre in Michigan that will collaborate with leading North American universities, hospitals, research institutions, federal agencies and other organizations on projects aimed at reducing traffic fatalities and injuries.

The Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) will be based at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor and will involve Toyota researchers and engineers from North America and Japan. The company estimates that it will commit approximately US$50 million over the next five years to fund CSRC.

Initial areas of focus will include reducing the risk of driver distraction and protecting the most vulnerable traffic populations, including children, teenagers and seniors. These groups account for approximately 30 per cent of U.S. traffic fatalities, the company said. CSRC will also conduct in-depth analyses of available crash and human behaviour data to support stakeholders’ efforts to evaluate and speed deployment of active safety systems.

The University of Michigan, Virginia Tech and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute will be charter partners in the new centre. Toyota said it will also reach out broadly to other universities, hospitals and research institutions in North America to invite proposals for research into advanced automotive safety.

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