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Analysis and Recommendation Regarding Technological Developments in Automobiles
The analysis of the latest technological developments in the automobile industry has been accomplished with the final report contained in the attachment. The company should provide more attention on the entertainment functionality thru the adoption and improvement of infotainment systems, develop self-recharging car thru the use of solar panels instead of improving car electric car technology and the adoption of 3D modelling systems.
These technologies can serve as opportunities for the company to maintain its edge over other car companies.
The thrust of Toyota Motor Corporation regarding the use and integration of technology is divided into three fronts – Environmental Technology, Safety Technology and Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). A look into Toyota’s technological portfolio reveals that it has been at the forefront in developing and incorporating hydrogen based fuel cells for cars. It is also currently engaged in developing technologies that provide dependable safety, increased vehicle functionality and enhanced transport systems.
There is currently the trend towards incorporating sophisticated computer platforms in automobiles. However, Toyota has been focused only information service platforms that improve vehicle safety and decrease driver attention requirements while other vehicle companies such as Ford have widen their platforms to include software and hardware applications that enhance the traveling experience. This includes software that supports various entertainment media such as MP3 players, internet, television programs and other sensory enhancing features.
Ford has been the talk of the town to its project called Sync developed in partnership with Microsoft. The said car digital platform offers universal media player, a phone system with Bluetooth and text-messaging system with one unique and interesting feature – all of its functions and features can be accessed thru voice commands. It even includes a feature where incoming text messages can be read out by the computer or outgoing messages can be dictated and translated into texts. Sync eliminates the cumbersome adjustments of the music player and enables the driver to communicate to other people without making him loose to much focus on is driving. Chrysler has also unleashed its MyGIG platform which also offers enhanced viewing and listening of videos and music. It also voice command enabled with provisions for touch screen adjustments. Toyota is very limited regarding this endeavour although it states that it is keen to increase vehicle functionality in the ITS front. (Saltzman 2007)
Increasing concerns regarding fuel efficiency and environmental impacts of car emissions have inspired Toyota to develop cars that give more mileage and less toxic chemicals during fuel combustion. Technological improvements in battery storage have enabled General Motors to develop the EV1. The said car has been reportedly shelved (CBS News, March 11, 2003) but has been made available in 2006. The battery technology in EV1 offers more electric power at less space and weight requirements as compared to previous design of electric cars which has a high reliance on gas engines because of the limited capacity of the battery.