What is Toyota up to?
Despite the recent recalls and bad press, Toyota Motors is still prolific in its patenting endeavors. An assignee search of Toyota pulled up over 200,000 references, and an assignee search of Toyota patents that have issued or published since May of 2011 pulled up over 200 references.
Let’s take a look at three recently published applications and three recently issued patents.
US 2011/0112749 A1 – Published 5-12-2011 - fuel-saving driving diagnosis apparatus, in-vehicle system, drive control apparatus, and fuel-saving driving diagnosis program
- This published application appears to show a driving diagnosis apparatus that presents to a driver the frequency of racing and stopping habits of said driver so as to increase awareness of habits that aren’t fuel-saving.
US 2011/0112736 A1 – Published 5-12-2011 - vehicle control device
- This published application appears to show a device for vehicle controlling having a shift-by-wire system for switching a driving range of a transmission and for control when an abnormality is detected.
US 2011/0112732 A1 – Published 5-12-2011 - control device and control method for vehicle
- This published application appears to show techniques and control devices for control of correction or learning of an actuation location of an actuator of a shift switching mechanism upon vehicle start-up.
US 7,941,264 B2 – Issued 5-10-2011 - Fuel supply device for flexible-fuel internal combustion engine
- This patent appears to show fuel supply devices for flexible-fuel internal combustion engines in which deterioration of the air-fuel ratio and exhaust properties is suppressed.
US 7,941,259 B2 – Issued 5-10-2011 - Vehicular drive system
- This patent appears to show vehicular drive systems which transmit engine output to vehicle drive wheels and also shows reduced electric motor size.
US 7,941,254 B2 – Issued 5-10-2011 - Hybrid vehicle control device
- This patent appears to be a hybrid vehicle control device which includes a detecting unit which diagnoses failure/non-failure of the power generator(s) at an early state and regardless of the running state.
Hmmm, a lot of control devices, i.e. devices for controlling vehicles…this would be the time where I would normally insert a joke about uncontrollable runaway vehicles. But I will take the high road and refrain -- this time.