• Dec 19th 2007 at 11:21AM
  • 20

Toyota is serious about the safety of its customers, and the Japanese automaker is thinking outside the box to keep its elderly drivers on the road. To help keep the AARP demographic up to the rigors of daily driving, Toyota has hooked up with Professor Ryuta Kawashima of "Brain Age" fame, to create a driving experience that helps sharpen the mind. Among the technologies being studied to help drivers is a system that recognizes driving characteristics and applies the brakes whenever erratic behavior is detected. Swerving and accidental accelerator jabs are among the potential driving behaviors being looked at, and an interface involving the navigation screen can assist drivers along the way. Kawashima wants to make driving a stimulating brain exercise, and Toyota is dropping coin in an effort to begin realizing the cranial activity within five years. It's hard to see how applying the brakes for you will sharpen your mind, but with five years until launch we're sure Toyota isn't keen to tipping its hand to explain.

Anything that can help keep drivers and pedestrians safe is a good thing, and Kawashima's brain-sharpening exercises coupled with top tech just may do the trick. If we are to be so bold as to suggest the first vehicle to showcase this new technology, we'd like to go on record as saying that the Avalon is a great choice. Or the Camry. Or any Lexus not named IS. Well, we're sure the execs from Aichi, Japan have a better idea which direction to take than do we.

[Source: International Herald Tribune]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      Make it easy entry and exit, good on the back and knees.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Applying the brakes because I swerve sounds like a good way to get flattened. A blind-spot watching, lane departure system might be nice. Preventing a driver from entering the left lane at 48mph would be nice, too.

      Mallory- yes, same goes for Vibes- they're easy to get in and out of.
      Derek- AllTrak was a Corolla derivative, as I recall. One of my college friends had one- that thing would go like stink in the snow.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Buicks are sporter looking cars and have more personality than Toyotas. Toyota isn`t even a good old persons car. Hip old people drive Buicks Smart young people do too. Toyota sucks!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Most Scions I've seen have older drivers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Well every Toyota model already is old people car
        • 7 Years Ago
        They made an AWD, turbo Celica, the AllTRac. Only in the US market for a few years. Slow sales maybe?

        Doesn't Toyota have 'exciting' models that they sell in the rest of the world, or is their demographic the same here as elsewhere?
        • 7 Years Ago
        I wish they had "edit." I meant to say. Nothing in Toyota's lineup appeals to anyone who wants to drive & enjoy anything other than boring vehicle. The engineers/designers who created the interesting 80/90's vehicles must have replaced with the uncreative and uninteresting noobs.
        • 7 Years Ago
        With the current Toyota-branded lineup, I totally agree that nothing really appeals to anyone interested in a four-wheeled appliance. They should give it out with every Toyota. Toyota drivers are among the most clueless of any one group out there!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Toyota made Supra, but sales were poor, and they stopped.

        Thay made MR2, but the sales were poor.

        Celica, same story.

        Considering how much money they are making, it was a right decision for them. I do wish they made more cars that are fun. Right now, only FJ seems like something exciting. If they only had something like "Si" line for their corollas and camrys, maybe AWD and turbo, it would be great. Toyota just does not make a car I would buy right now. I was in the market for AWD wagon with a manual, and there are not many options out there.
      • 7 Years Ago
      So they add old people tech. to their old people boring designs. Lincoln here we come.
        • 7 Years Ago
        So true, so true
        • 7 Years Ago
        I think Toyota's PR department deserves to take a bow. Seriously. They would have us believe, ususally with great success, that Toyota is the "everything to everyone" car company. Americans lap it up. No one is more "green" that Toyota... right? They created the truck that "changes nothing"... right? Why not take to the mountain tops and proclaim Toyota to be the "car company for the poor, the rich, the aging and the huddled masses".
      • 7 Years Ago
      Off topic, aren't Toyota and Nintendo the #1 and #2 companies in Japan ?
        • 7 Years Ago
        According to Forbes 40 (Japan) Sept. 06 -

        The Top Ten

        1. Toyota Motor
        2. Nippon Tel & Tel
        3. Mitsubishi UFJ Financial
        4. Honda Motor
        5. Sumitomo Mitsui Financial
        6. Nissan Motor
        7. Mizuho Financial
        8. Tokyo Electric Power
        9. Mitsubishi
        10. Resona Holdings
        • 7 Years Ago
        Couldn't find Sept 07? *laughs*

        I'm pretty sure Nintendo is now number 2 because of the Wii/DS. My point is, these two juggernauts working on something is somewhat interesting.
      • 7 Years Ago
      If your avatar name precedes you as well as it does, you have much to learn...now go ask mommy to buy tou your first scion!
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