Much of the technology used in modern automobiles, or in the development of modern automobiles, can be repurposed for the betterment of society. That was the concept behind Toyota’s “Ideas For Good” challenge, which gave entrants the ability to use five Toyota-developed technologies to create non-automotive applications benefiting the population. Some 4,000 entries were received and evaluated by a panel of judges, who ultimately narrowed down the finalists to five per category:
Total HUman Model for Safety (T.H.U.M.S.)
Toyota’s advanced injury simulation software utilizes a state-of-the-art “crash test dummy” to collect and analyze over two million data points. Category finalists are:
- Active Brace to Prevent Anterior Cruciate Ligament Rupture, submitted by Aureliu P.
- T.H.U.M.S. for EMTs, submitted by Dawit B.
- T.H.U.M.S. Rehabilitation, submitted by Hoyt J.
- Protecting the Elderly from Injuries Due to Falling, submitted by Roberta S.
- Build a Better Bicycle Helmet, submitted by Stu S.
Solar Powered Ventilation System
Using a sliding moonroof in conjunction with solar panels, this system allows vehicles to ventilate the interior on hot days. Category finalists are:
- Crop Drying with Solar Powered Ventilation System submitted by Andy W.
- Self-contained Mobile Water Purification Unit submitted by Stephen B.
- Solar Powered Ventilation for Safer, Greener Aerobic Landfills submitted by Steven C.
- Pure Air submitted by Tim W.
- Solar Ventilation of Sewage Pipelines Zahid K.
Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD)
Toyota’s HSD uses a combination of regenerative braking and kinetic energy captured when coasting to recharge onboard storage batteries. Category finalists are:
- Power Plant Gym submitted by Birken S.
- Medical Ventilators for Disaster Use submitted by Joel S.
- Windmill Braking submitted by Mena E.
- Kinetically Powered Prostheses submitted by Michael C.
- HSD to Assist Wheelchair Bound Persons submitted by Rodney Q.
Advanced Parking Guidance System
Utilizing a combination of hands-free steering, ultrasonic sensors, an onboard CPU and a reverse camera, Toyota’s system aids drivers in parking their vehicles. Category finalists are:
- Self Regulated Shopping Cart submitted by Brian T.
- Automated Firefighting Extension Ladder Guidance System submitted by Fran O.
- Door Assist System for Power Wheelchairs submitted by Jeremy B.
- AHTS: Advanced Hospital Transportation System submitted by John C.
- Guidance System for the Disabled submitted by Vernie R.
Touch Tracer Display
Via sensors embedded in the steering wheel, this system allows users to adjust the climate control, audio settings and driver information display settings without taking their eyes from the road. Category finalists are:
- Musical Touch: A Learning Tool submitted by Bruce L.
- Touch Tracer Computer Mouse, Keyboard and Monitor submitted by David C.
- Surgical Robot/Laparoscopic Touch Tracer Display submitted by David H.
- Firefighters Critical Status Display submitted by Justin E.
- Walking Again Through Touch Tracer submitted by Sheila B.
You can cast your vote for your favorite idea in each category by visiting the Ideas For Good website. The top ideas will be determined by both public votes and judge’s scoring, and winners will be announced on May 9. Category winners will get prototyping assistance with their idea, bringing it one step closer to reality, but they’ll also get to choose a new Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Prius, or Venza.