Toyota has always been known for creating some of the most innovative fuel-sipping hybrid technologies available on the market, starting with the Toyota Prius in the late 1990s. Did you know that, as President and Chief Operating Officer for Toyota North America, Yoshi Inaba, states "according to a recent study, if everyone in the U.S. drove a Prius, we could reduce our dependence on foreign oil by 70%?"1 Over the last fifteen years, the Prius has prevented an estimated 16 million tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere, and saved $2.9 billion in fuel costs -- that's 1.1 billion gallons of gas. And, Toyota isn't done yet. The Prius Family of vehicles is just one example of the steps the automaker is taking to preserve the earth and cut down on fuel usage.
Over the past 21 months, Toyota has taken part in several technology development initiatives and partnerships, including a partnership with BMW to develop new lithium-ion batteries and a partnership with Intel to create more responsive in-vehicle voice, touch, and gesture technologies to lessen driver distractions, as well as technology partnerships with Tesla, Ford, and Microsoft. Through these partnerships, Toyota has developed innovative technologies to further establish its place as the auto world's alternative fuel leader. As President Inaba promises in a recent speech, Toyota is dedicated to providing this kind of technology to all people. He states, "I can't promise you flying cars or Star Trek remotes that beam you up. But I can promise you that Toyota and the rest of the auto industry will be eagerly developing cars that look great, are fun to drive, easy on fuel and the environment and will help us reach our dreams in the future."2