Toyota and Project Lead The Way Invest in STEM Students

Toyota and Project Lead the Way teamed up to donate almost $300,000 to STEM programs in Indiana
Photo courtesy of Toyota

Last month, Toyota announced that it, along with Project Lead The Way (PLTW), had donated $290,000 in grant money to 22 K-12 schools in Indiana. The southwest Indiana community is of special importance to Toyota, as it has a manufacturing plant there—Gibson County’s Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana. The grants are meant to provide education funding for those students interested in pursuing education and, ultimately, a career in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields.

Funding Our Future Through Education

According to Toyota, these grants will help the schools shape curricula based on engineering, biomedical science, and computer science, and will help to create and provide hands-on classroom work. For example, one recipient school—Wood Memorial High School—plans to use its $20,000 grant to develop a computer science program that will help students learn the skills necessary to develop new technologies.

The Perfect Match

Toyota and PLTW have joined forces before. In 2017, the Toyota USA Foundation granted PLTW a $2 million grant to help bring STEM education to 115 K-12 schools throughout the country.

“By bringing new methods of learning to students, we can challenge their way of thinking and empower them with the key skills necessary to succeed and accomplish their dreams,” said Millie Marshall, who currently serves as the president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana. “Through this effort, we can help create the innovators and problem solvers of tomorrow, while uplifting Indiana communities.”

Capital Toyota is proud to represent an automaker so committed to improving the future of children in America. If your child has a bright future and needs a vehicle to take them safely down the road to success, stop into our showroom to peruse our selection of new and used Toyotas.

Toyota Uses Robots for Rough Road Durability Testing

Toyota uses automated processes to help in its rough road durability testing

Toyota Testing and Development

Toyota maintains that, when developing and designing its new vehicles, the human touch is the most important aspect. That means that although Toyota uses a number of automated processes and machines, it is ultimately people who are assessing and making key decisions about Toyota vehicles.

So where do the machines come into play? One place for Toyota is in determining how its vehicles will handle rough terrains and roads, like a road littered with potholes. Toyota calls this its rough road durability testing, and robots are very important during this process.

Rough Road Durability Testing

To test out how a new vehicle will handle on rough roads, Toyota relies on the roughest of roads—one it created for this very purpose, full of dips, potholes, and other defects. Previously, Toyota engineers had to go along for the ride, assessing how a vehicle performed as it encountered each defect. Obviously, this made for a very uncomfortable ride for engineers.

Improved Safety and Efficiency

Now during Toyota’s rough road durability testing, engineers can use an automated system for evaluation, without a human having to be behind the wheel. For example, a robot recently took over the testing for the brand-new Toyota Avalon. Doing so, according to Toyota, “resulted in greater overall safety, efficiency, and reduced test times.”

“When our vehicle performance development (VPD) team began looking at testing for the 2019 Avalon, they developed a system that adapted and improved existing technology to allow the car to automatedly navigate around the course,” explained Avalon chief engineer Randy Stephens. “This not only saved the engineers and technicians from having to endure the grueling ride, it also provided a more accurate test cycle. The system was proven during Avalon development, and we plan to use it during all future North American vehicle development cycles.”

Because of these robots, you can rest assured that vehicles like the brand-new Toyota Avalon and other new Toyota vehicles are up to the task of handling whatever the road can throw at you. To experience the smooth ride of a new Toyota for yourself, stop into Capital Toyota for a test drive.