Toyota On-Stand Press Conference
Akio Toyoda, President and CEO of Toyota Motor Corporation
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen.
I’m pleased to introduce Toyota’s new WRC Yaris, which will debut in next year’s WRC series. It’s been 17 long years since we competed in WRC, so I guess you could say we’re well rested!But now we’re back and we’ve been busy training up in Finland, under the leadership of the 4-time WRC champion, Tommi Makinen!
Hi Tommi, thanks for joining us and thanks for being Team Toyota this time around!You look good in Toyota red by the way. So how are you feeling about our prospects for WRC?
We’re ready Akio. I wouldn’t underestimate our chances.
So in other words, you’re “sort of” confident?
Something like that!
Ok fair enough. I will see you back in Finland for more testing! Tommi Makinen,Ladies and Gentlemen!
You know it’s wonderful to be here in Europe, the center of automotive racing, with a heritage and brands I’ve long admired.
As a racing fan myself, nothing gives me greater pleasure than test driving one of our vehicles like this new Yaris, built right here in France.
But as much as I want to win, and believe me, I do want to win by the way, just to be clear.
I also view racing as an opportunity for us to make ever better cars. To use racing as a real life laboratory to improve the performance, handling and durability of our cars.
Because to me, if a car’s not fun to drive, then what’s the point? But besides racing, there are other methods to improve cars to make them safer to make them more accessible.You might have been surprised by the Microsoft logo on our WRC entry here. Not what you might typically expect for a race car sponsor. But Microsoft, is a very important, long-standing partner for Toyota.
In fact, I asked Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, to share a few words with you himself. Let’s take a look.
(roll video of Satya Nadella)
Hi, I’m Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Thank you Mr. Toyoda. It’s such an honor to have the opportunity to address all of you at the Paris Motor Show.
At Microsoft our mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Pursuing this mission means forging strong partnerships with leading organizations like Toyota.Since 2011 we’ve had a strategic partnership with Toyota to create a global, cloud-based telematics system, and provide telecommunications, GPS and data to the Toyota customers.
Recently we extended that relationship through the collaboration in Toyota Connected.No longer is the car simply a vehicle to travel between two places. It’s a connected device that serves as an extension of the person’s digital lifestyle. And drivers expect their car’s computing power to match its horsepower.
That together Toyota and Microsoft can empower drivers with cars that are more intelligent and connected, while improving safety and reliability. On behalf of the Microsoft team, I want to thank you for your partnership, and I look forward to seeing what we can collectively accomplish together. Thank you so very much.Akio continues:Microsoft has been an investor in our new data analytics company, Toyota Connected making them more than just a software supplier.
We are indeed very happy to have Microsoft on our team in our quest to make ever better cars.With 100 million Toyotas on the road today, to me, the true benefit of selling all those cars is that we can study and learn from them, in order to one day totally eliminate automotive accidents and fatalities.
That is one of the primary goals of the newly formed Toyota Research institute. It’s mission? To reach the next frontier in mobility or put another way, to boldly go where no car has gone before!
Led by Dr. Gill Pratt, our hand-picked, dream team of engineers and scientists are already hard at work on projects in the areas of autonomous driving, robotics and materials science.
Gill and I bonded over our mutual desire to make car accidents a thing of the past…, but to also make sure the fun of driving remains.Though not widely known, Toyota has been working on the development of autonomous cars for many years. Gill and his team, will be building on this foundation, developing two kinds of autonomy chauffeur mode and guardian mode.
We believe chauffer mode, or total autonomy, will only be 100% accident free by testing a minimum of14.2 billion kilometers, which in practical terms, would take decades of real world driving.
Therefore, the only way to accomplish this goal safely, and in a timely manner, is through the use of multi-agent computer simulation which we have developed.
Perhaps the greatest reward that will come when chauffeur mode autonomy is achieved, is the freedom of mobility we will be able to provide to those who would not otherwise have it.
As the automotive sponsor of the Paralympics, I have heard from many of these individuals first-hand about how important this is to them, and personally, their stories are very motivating to me.
The other form of autonomy that we are currently focusing on, is guardian mode. In this mode, the car can take over or assist the driver as needed. Not only does guardian mode make the car drive more safely, it also allows our customers to more fully enjoy driving the car.
Guardian, or assisted autonomy is the natural evolution of our cars’ current safety features such as Toyota Safety Sense, and it is the mode of autonomy that you will see come from Toyota first.This WRC Yaris will play a role in our autonomous testing as well. In fact, we won’t just be racing, we will be actively collecting data on how the car handles the unique driving conditions during races here in Europe, and around the world.
This very valuable data will be applied to the development of our autonomous vehicles. The funding of the Toyota Research Institute is equal to what we spent developing the first Prius, so we are serious about what we intend to accomplish.We are also serious about our commitment to the European market, and hope that the new Toyota C-HR you see displayed here today is proof of that commitment.
From racing to robotics to real-world solutions to make cars more fun, more safe and more meaningful to our customers. We at Toyota, along with our partners, are committed to delivering future innovations in automotive technology.
Just as we invented hybrid technology, to help decrease emissions and improve the environment, we are also determined to create new innovations for the benefit of not just our customers but society as a whole.
We believe that that most important thing we can do as a company is not just improve how we build cars, but to dedicate ourselves to improving the lives of our customers, every day and in every way possible.
Thank you very much.