(Toyota Motor Sales: Torrance, CA) --Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A. Inc. has announced the five winners in its Ideas for Good initiative, a unique program that invited consumers to share their ideas on how to repurpose Toyota technologies beyond their automotive applications. The winning ideas, as determined by popular vote, will be brought to life with the help of Toyota, Carnegie Mellon University, and Deeplocal experts during a rapid prototyping session in June.
An extension of Toyota’s commitment toward continuous improvement, the Ideas for Good initiative asked people to imagine new possibilities for five distinct Toyota technologies: Total HUman Model for Safety (T.H.U.M.S.), Solar-Powered Ventilation System, Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD), Advanced Parking Guidance System, and the Touch Tracer Display. The submission period ran from Nov. 8, 2010, through Feb. 28, 2011. More than 4,000 submissions were evaluated by a panel of independent judges, including Keith Grossman of WIRED magazine, Grace Hawthorne of Stanford University, Josh Morenstein of fuseproject, Joel Stitzel, Ph.D., of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, and Jake Ward of Popular Science magazine. From there the public voted for its favorite idea from among five finalists in each category at www.toyota.com/ideasforgood. The top five ideas receiving the most votes and the highest scores from the judges include:
Building a Better Bike Helmet, submitted by Stu S.: Inspired by T.H.U.M.S., this idea uses Toyota’s technology to assess the strengths and weaknesses of current bicycle helmets and improves upon these designs to protect riders from traumatic brain injuries.
Pure Air, submitted by Tim W.: Using the Solar-Powered Ventilation System, this idea proposes a way to draw smoke from huts in developing nations, ultimately providing improved health conditions in an environmentally friendly way.
Power Plant Gym, submitted by Birken S.: This idea was inspired by Toyota HSD technology to convert the energy exerted at a gym into electricity. Connecting exercise equipment to a system of resistance cords and turbines, users would put electricity back into their local power grid simply by working out.
Automated Firefighting Extension Ladder Guidance System, submitted by Fran O.: This idea uses the Advanced Parking Guidance System to increase efficiency and precision in emergency situations, reduce risk, and decrease the amount of time it takes to accurately position a firefighting ladder.
Touch Tracer Mouse, Keyboard & Monitor, submitted by David C.: By integrating Toyota’s Touch Tracer Display into a computer mouse, keyboard, and monitor all in one place, this idea allows users to easily toggle between the mouse, keyboard, and numerical pad while the heads-up display shows them exactly where their fingers are in relation to the keys.
“The caliber of submissions was impressive,” says Bill Fay, group vice president of marketing for TMS. “The winning ideas truly reimagine existing Toyota technologies in ways that continue to improve quality of life and positively impact the communities in which they might be used. We look forward to bringing these ideas to fruition alongside the winners and our partner organizations next month.”
In addition to receiving a choice of three Toyota vehicles—Highlander Hybrid, Prius, or Venza—winners are invited to participate in a rapid prototyping session June 3–5, 2011, at Carnegie Mellon University’s campus in Pittsburgh. Each will be paired with a team of engineers and experts from Toyota, Carnegie Mellon University, and “post digital” shop, Deeplocal, to conceptualize and build their idea over the course of the three-day workshop. In partnering with the faculty and students of Carnegie Mellon University and the Deeplocal staff, Toyota will leverage the two organizations’ highly skilled engineers and designers to bring the winning ideas to life.
To learn more about the winners and the Ideas for Good program, visit www.toyota.com/ideasforgood.