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.

Spring Car Service Tips to Consider This Year

Get ready for the warmer seasons with these spring car service tips from Capital ToyotaAt Capital Toyota, we look forward to the coming of spring all year long. Not only is it a welcomed break from cold winter weather, it’s also the perfect time to hit the road for a scenic drive. Before you do, though, it’s important to take care of some seasonal maintenance. The following are just three of the springtime services you should be considering for your vehicle.

Replace Wipers

From road salt to snow and ice, winter can be extra hard on windshield wipers. At the start of spring, make sure your car’s wipers aren’t bent, cracked, or otherwise damaged. Replacing them now is easy, inexpensive, and makes your car much safer. Since you should be replacing your wipers every six months or so, the turn of spring is the perfect time to get into the habit. 

Monitor Tires

Rapidly changing temperatures can cause your tires to become deflated, so make a habit of keeping an eye on them throughout the winter. You should also be monitoring your tread level; consider replacing the whole set if any of your tires are looking particularly worn. Spring is also a great time to get your tires balanced and rotated. 

Hit the Carwash 

Doing a bit of spring car cleaning isn’t just a cosmetic measure. In fact, it’s important to wash your car after winter because it removes harmful salt and other corrosive materials that often build up on your vehicle during the winter. You’ll want to make sure that you pay special attention to the undercarriage, as salt can damage important suspension components and your muffler.

These are just three of the ways that you can ensure that you are taking care of your vehicle heading into the spring season. For more ideas, and to have these services performed by the experts, stop into Capital Toyota.

Best Scenic Views in Chattanooga to Check out This Spring

Check out some of the best scenic views in Chattanooga, presented by Capital ToyotaAre you considering going away this spring for a vacation? Sure, the allure of Florida or some nice place on the West Coast might be appealing, but why spend all the money for travel and board when you can enjoy some of the best scenic vies in Chattanooga? We’re quite fortunate to be surrounded by some of the best that Mother Nature has to offer, and these three scenic views are among the best you’ll find anywhere in the country. 

Sunset Rock

Located just 8 miles from downtown Chattanooga, Sunset Rock offers an amazing view of the city and the surrounding landscape. And since there is even a parking lot, it’s the perfect place to start off your spring driving tour staycation. 

Edward’s Point

Situated a bit further from the downtown area, Edward’s Point offers a more secluded view of the entire river valley. Off-road enthusiasts will be excited to learn that this overlook can be reached via ATV on a system of trails. 

Cloudland Canyon Overlook

About 30 miles away from the city, Cloudland Canyon Overlook is a great day-trip destination for those looking to hit the road and enjoy the beautiful spring weather. You can even make use of the park campgrounds and turn that quick trip into an affordable weekend getaway.

There’s a ton more to see and do in and around Chattanooga, and there’s no better way to get where you’re going than in the driver’s seat of a brand-new Toyota. To make that last part happen—and to get an additional tip or two on what’s worth checking out in the Chattanooga area—stop into Capital Toyota.

Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle Dominates Competitors

The Toyota Mirai is one of the best-selling fuel cell cars in the country.

The Toyota Mirai fuel cell vehicle launched in the United States for the 2016 model year, marking the Japanese automaker’s entry into an emerging market. Having just passed the two-year mark, the Toyota Mirai stands as one of the best-selling in its class.

What Is A Mirai?

Initially launching in a single package, the Toyota Mirai featured seating for four and the Toyota Safety Sense Psuite of systems. An interior designed for comfort, complete with upscale upholstery, makes the Mirai a great choice for a comfortable commuter car.

The model runs entirely on hydrogen and its only emission is water, meaning it’s more efficient than almost every other vehicle on the road. Refueling takes just five minutes. Additionally, Toyota offered three years of complimentary fuel for three years, or up to $15,000. With an EPA-estimated 312 mile range, the Mirai is more capable of longer trips than electric competitors.*

Where Can I Find Them?

Making up more than 80% of all hydrogen fuel cell cars in the United States, the Toyota Mirai is only available in California. While you can’t currently test drive the Mirai here at Capital Toyota, increasing customer interest could change that.

In expectation of increased consumer demand, Toyota, in partnership with Shell and FirstElement Fuel, is working to expand the current hydrogen fuel infrastructure. The automaker is also working with Air Liquide to establish a dozen fueling stations between New York and Boston.

So, with sales rising and fueling stations expanding, we are excited to see just how Toyota and the Mirai tackle a future of zero emissions.

*2017 EPA-estimated 67 city/67 highway/67 combined MPGe for Mirai and 312-mile driving range. Actual mileage will vary. Range measurement pursuant to SAE J2601 standards (ambient temperature: 20°C; hydrogen tank pressure when fueled: 70 MPa). Fueling time varies with hydrogen fueling pressure and ambient temperature.

Toyota’s Olympic Sponsorship: “Start Your Impossible”

Toyota is once again sponsoring the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2018

It has become common to see Toyota sponsoring major sporting events, so it comes as no surprise that the company will be sponsoring the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. Toyota’s Olympic sponsorship focuses on the ‘Start Your Impossible” campaign. As a part of the campaign, 16 athletes will play a role in Toyota’s “Mobility for All” ad spot.

Start Your Impossible

The “Start Your Impossible” campaign reinforces the Japanese automaker’s commitment to creating a society that’s inclusive for all. Toyota will also push its own values, namely humility, hard work, never giving up, and, ultimately, overcoming challenges.

“The Olympic and Paralympic Games align with Toyota’s values and are platforms to showcase our global commitment to the concept of mobility for all,” said Susumu Matsuda, Marketing Division General Manager, Toyota Motor Corporation.

Mobility For All

All 16 athletes will take part in the first ad spot, dubbed “Mobility for All.” The spot focuses on Tatyana McFadden, who has won 17 medals in five Paralympic Games, and Brad Snyder, three-time gold medalist at the Paralympic Games Rio 2016.

In order to launch its global campaign, the company held the first-ever Toyota Mobility Summit in Athens, Greece. Akio Toyoda led the summit with the help of Didier Leroy, Toyota Executive Vice President. There, attendees discussed the future of mobility, something we here at Capital Toyota are excited for. Toyota also covered the social and physical well-being of athletes in the upcoming Games.

Make sure to keep an eye out for the Toyota ads and the star athletes in the “Mobility for All” campaign!

In-Car Amazon Alexa Coming to Toyota

An in-car Amazon Alexa is coming soon to Toyota models.

If you are an Amazon fan, then you likely own what an Echo or other device that uses Alexa. This is Amazon’s cloud-based voice-activated assistant that you use in your home. Now, though, Toyota has announced that an in-car Amazon Alexa will be coming to its lineup starting with select vehicles equipped with Toyota Entune 3.0 App Suite this year.

Amazon Alexa Features

In your home, Alexa can quickly turn your kitchen into a dance party, tell you some jokes, add items to your shopping list, play some games with you, and so much more. Many of these features, plus some new ones, will be available with the in-car version, including on-the-go directions.

“Voice services are rapidly becoming more popular and through our integration with Amazon Alexa, Toyota and Lexus customers will soon be able to easily speak to Alexa in their cars while on-the-go,” said Zack Hicks, senior vice president and chief information officer of Toyota Motor North America and chief executive officer and president of Toyota Connected.

Extra Functionality

With Alexa in your Toyota, you will be able to ask her to adjust your smart thermostat before you arrive home, add items to your shopping list on the way to the store, or listen to a great selection of audiobooks from Audible.

At Capital Toyota, we are excited about this new tech addition and can’t wait to give it a try.

How to Achieve Your New Year’s Resolutions

Achieve your New Year's Resolutions with these helpful tips from Capital Toyota

Every year, about 40% of adults in America set at least one resolution that they hope will change their life in some way. However, after about six months, nearly 60% of those people have already given up. So, how do you achieve your New Year’s resolutions? You follow these four steps.

  1. Focus on actions. Instead of thinking, “I want to lose 20 pounds,” focus on working to be healthier by watching what you eat and planning workouts.
  2. Make realistic goals. While we all have an ideal image of what we would like to be in our minds, it is unrealistic for most people. Set a goal that you can actually reach. So, plan to save $100 a month instead of $500, for example.
  3. Think positively. Have a positive outlook for your goals. In addition, have a plan for certain obstacles. Like, if you are trying to save money, when your friends ask you to go out, invite them to a potluck at your house instead.
  4. Get support. Talk to friends and family about your goals. You might find others with similar resolutions. You can work together to motivate each other and get some accountability.

If your plan is to save money for a new car, we can help you out. Give us a call at Capital Toyota when you are ready, and we can get you a great deal.

New Year Resolutions for Your Car

New Year Resolutions for Your Car

We’re a few weeks away from the New Year, but it’s never too early to start thinking about your resolutions. Instead of focusing on yourself, why not pick a resolution for your car? Check out these helpful New Year resolutions for your car recommended by us here at Capital Toyota.

Be More Efficient

Toyota vehicles may offer exceptional efficiency, but that doesn’t mean you can hammer down the gas pedal without consequence. If you find yourself constantly speeding, odds are you’re getting less-than-average fuel economy.

Aiming to become a more efficient driver will be beneficial for both your car and wallet. All you have to do is slow down and leave yourself more time to get to your destination.

Keep Up With Maintenance

Routine maintenance is a necessity for drivers who want their vehicle to last as long as possible. Oil changes, tire rotations, and frequent inspections can help prevent, and spot, potential problems before they become a drain on your finances.

Consult your owner’s manual, then make a service appointment at your local dealership to get your New Year resolution offer to a good start!

Stop Idling

Idling is a bad habit that can hurt your wallet, vehicle, and the environment. While idling has been the go-to method of warming up your car during winter, that’s no longer the best choice. Instead, driving at a moderate speed will help your vehicle warm up faster.

Stop idling and get on the road! You’ll save yourself time and money in 2018.

December Holiday Events in Chattanooga

Whether you’re just getting into gear, or you’ve been running on all cylinders since Halloween, the holidays are finally here! Now is a great opportunity to begin planning for some December events to get you into the spirit of the season. We here at Capital Toyota have a few recommended holiday events in Chattanooga that will make some wonderful memories!

Holiday Events in Chattanooga

Chattanooga Holiday Market

There are few better places to shop for festive gifts than the Chattanooga Holiday Market. Taking place at the Chattanooga Convention Center, the holiday market will feature more than 200 vendors selling hand-made items, holiday decorations, and more. The event takes place on the first three weekends of December.

Caroling with the Fishes

While it may sound like something out of a Christmas mafia movie, Caroling with Fishes is a great activity for families. The Tennessee Aquarium will have carolers singing festive songs from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on December 3rd. Those who choose to take part will be treated with a visit from Santa and a photo to remind you of the festive event.

PJs and The Polar Express

Attending a showing of The Polar Express in your pajamas at the Tennessee Aquarium’s IMAX 3D theater sounds a great way to celebrate the holidays! Guests will have the opportunity to meet the conductor, drink hot cocoa, and enjoy complimentary treats. Showings run on December 16th and 17th from 9:30am to 11:45am.

The Origin of Thanksgiving

Origin of Thanksgiving

We might all think we know the true origin of Thanksgiving, but do we really? Here’s the story on exactly what inspired the very first Thanksgiving.

The Mayflower fleet hailed from Plymouth, England, carrying 102 passengers whose sights were set on Hudson Bay. The ship ending up settling in Massachusetts, establishing the “Plymouth” village.

Unfortunately, only about half of the settlers made it through the New England winter. In March, when the settlers began exploring the area, a member of the Abenaki tribe greeted them in English. He came back a few days later with Squanto by his side. Squanto was a Native American who had been through a harrowing journey, escaping slavery and finding his way back home from London.

Despite Squanto’s terrifying past with an Englishmen, he helped the Puritans without fear; showing them how to cultivate corn and catch fish, along with crucial survival skills. Because of Squanto’s generosity, the Pilgrims had their first successful corn harvest in November 1621. The Wampanoag tribe and the Pilgrims dined together for the first real Thanksgiving, representing an alliance that would last over 50 years.

The real Thanksgiving is truly all about giving, as proved by the Wampanoag tribe. So remember why we are saying thanks – those who never had to help, did.