Help create a society of sustainable mobility / Support the enjoyment of mobility for all

Challenges

  • Environmental contribution (CO₂ emissions reduction): Reducing tire rolling resistance, improving EV compatibility, saving resources
  • Safety: Maintenance-free products, diagnosis of tire wear
  • Commercializing airless tires
  • Ultimate enjoyment of driving and sophisticated features

Relevant stakeholders

  • Direct: Customers(consumers), suppliers, employees, research institutions
  • Indirect: Shareholders and investors, creditors, local communities, NGOs, industry groups

Our policy

We know that the sustainable future for tire and automotive parts manufacturers will only be ensured once a society of sustainable mobility has been created. That’s why we are using our unique products and services to help establish a society of sustainable mobility that boasts net-zero environmental impact, zero accidents and efficient transportation.
In addition to providing the necessary elements for promoting sustainability, we believe that using our unique products and services to satisfy the various features that people expect from superior mobility life will create added value designed to support a diverse mobile society, so that is what we intend to do.

Responsible Executive (as of April 2022)

Director, Corporate Officer and Vice President of R&D Headquarters

Activity promotion system (as of April 2022)

Spearheaded by our R&D Headquarters, we are coordinating R&D, product planning, sales planning and digital transformation (DX) functions and promoting sustainability-related activities based on various themes that correlate with the aims of our medium-term business plan.
The Technical Committee oversees the overall implementation of those activities and reports progress to the Sustainability Committee.

Activity promotion system

Framework for handling complaints (Contact points)

  • Reporting hotline (whistle-blowing system): For executives, employees and suppliers
  • Customer Relations Department: For customers (consumers) and local communities
  • Online inquiry form: For customers (consumers), shareholders and investors, and NGOs
  • n addition to the above routes, our technical service departments, Group sales companies and distributors also receive inquiries and complaints.

Main resources for promoting activities (2021)

  • R&D expenses: 11,159 million yen *including 1,455 million yen for basic research expenses
  • Expenses related to environmental conservation during R&D activities: 281 million yen
  • Capital investment in rationalization, improving quality and enhancing production facilities: 37,766 million yen
  • R&D bases: 5 bases (Japan, US, Germany)
  • We are strengthening our unique technologies and developing differentiated products by encouraging cooperation between our R&D functions in Japan, the US and Europe. We also conduct joint research with multiple universities and research institutes.

Activities: Environmental contribution

We place great importance on reducing rolling resistance, which is a direct factor in reducingCO₂ emissions, and we aim to improve grading when introducing product model changes.
Furthermore, we set targets when developing each individual product to help reduceCO₂ emissions per tire by 20% by 2030 compared to 2019 levels. While keeping this reduction in rolling resistance at the forefront of our minds, we are also working on reducing tire weight and developing the type of processes required to successfully achieve that.

Advancements in fundamental rubber materials technology

We are seeing signs of rapid change in the area of materials development as AI and machine learning start to be employed. As part of our ongoing efforts to innovate our proprietary fundamental rubber materials technology, Nano Balance Technology, we have developed new technology that uses materials informatics (MI)*1 for predicting rubber material characteristics and supporting composite design.
Since 2018, Toyo Tire Corporation has been using its accumulated existing data assets to begin verifying prediction technology for tire composition and physical properties using MI technology and we have been working to improve the technical accuracy and efficiency of the process. Going forward, we want to create an environment in which we can make full and effective use of our stored data to promote development from a totally new perspective using analysis methods and prediction data as part of our drive to achieve high-performing product development while also shortening development lead times and reducing costs.
Currently, we are applying these data stores to actual development to help create differentiated products that fulfill multiple performance requirements to a high level. Those requirements include higher fuel efficiency and better wet-grip performance that can be achieved by using highly dispersed silica and new materials.

  • *1 AI-driven technology that facilitates a more efficient exploration of new and alternative materials than conventional methods.
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Channeling our prowess into satisfying strict standards

In the face of rising climate-change risks, the role that tires play in raising the fuel efficiency of vehicles is becoming increasingly important. By reducing the energy lost from repeated tire deformation during driving, tires can roll more smoothly and be driven longer distances for the same amount of fuel. However, while this increases fuel efficiency, any rubber with a small energy loss will generally reduce the tire’s gripping force, especially on wet road surfaces. Therefore, when developing fuel-efficient tires, it is essential to reduce rolling resistance while maintaining a high wet-grip performance.
Japan has been operating a labeling system since 2010 that displays a tire’s rolling resistance and wet-grip performance based on a self-regulated industry grading system and promotes tires that attain a certain level or above on the grading system for both rolling resistance and wet-grip performance as “fuel-efficient tires.”
Strict regulations in the EU have required all tires for passenger cars sold in the bloc to display rolling resistance performance, wet-grip performance and noise performance since 2012. From November 2017, tires that perform below a certain level on this scale can no longer be shipped to the EU.
The Toyo Tire Group is continuously strengthening our technological capabilities by enhancing cooperation between our Japan and European R&D facilities on the development of high-performance products that receive high ratings in the extremely demanding European market. We intend to help build an environmental response for automobiles in all markets by developing these technologies globally.

Tranpath mp7

Activities: Safety

Tire wear forecasting system to boost customer safety

The R&D Headquarters and Digital Transformation Headquarters work together on demonstration experiments with customers. We also developed an app that is now being trialed by customers, with a view towards practical application.
Tire wear forecasting enables us to inform customers when it is appropriate to rotate their tires and to help extend the life of a tire and manage tire usage conditions so that we can tell customers whether a tire is suitable for retreading*. We also offer added safety for customers by remotely monitoring the air pressure levels obtained from sensors placed inside the tires in real time via an app.

  •  * A worn tire that is reused by replacing the rubber in the part of the tire that comes into contact with the road surface.

[TOPIC] A tire-sensing technology concept driven by AI and digital technology

We believe tire functions that provide information with regard to vehicle management and maintenance support will become increasingly important for creating a society of sustainable mobility. That’s why we are looking to promote the idea of viewing and utilizing tires, the only parts that come into contact with the road surface, as information acquisition devices for creating new added value. One technology we have developed is tire sensing, which visualizes tire performance during driving. By detecting road surface and tire wear conditions using the sensors in the tire and estimating performance, we can capture and display the data on the current grip force when driving. This enables us to visualize the tire performance required for the road surface conditions under which the tire is currently being driven, and check whether the tire is demonstrating its inherent tire force* when driving. Right now, we are installing these systems on actual cars and driving on actual roads at our tire test course, and collecting real-time data.
Going forward, we intend to promote co-creation with external partners that will enable us to use tire sensing technology to help evolve mobility even further.

     * Tire force is a term assigned by Toyo Tire that refers to actual tire performance as estimated from information input from the tire, such as air pressure, temperature, road surface distinction, load, wear and any detected anomalies. We have developed an app that displays tire force in real time in a way that is visible to the driver.

A tire-sensing technology concept driven by AI and digital technology

Activities: Commercializing airless tires

Our “noair” airless tire concept is designed to facilitate maintenance-free, no-spare solutions that satisfy the needs of the next-generation mobility society in which people opt for self-service gas stations, home charging of electric vehicles (EVs) and more prevalent car sharing. In 2017, noair became the first tire in the industry to achieve a level of performance that enabled it to be driven on a light vehicle, achieving high durability and a level of maneuverability that is close to that of pneumatic tires.
There are currently no laws and regulations regarding airless tires, but we are installing them on golf carts and conducting test drive events as part of our efforts to facilitate their practical use. We will continue to promote airless tires with a view to installing them on futuristic mobility vehicles and potentially recycling them.

golf cart using “noair” tires
golf cart using “noair” tiresgolf cart using “noair” tires

Activities: Ultimate enjoyment of driving and sophisticated features

We are working on technological development and product commercialization that pursue ultimate enjoyment of driving and sophisticated design while also satisfying the essential high-dimensional tire performance requirements for nextgeneration mobility, including environmental considerations (fuel efficiency).
The spread of EVs is expected to both accelerate and further diversify as we move towards a society of sustainable mobility. In anticipation of this broader and more diverse EV market, we are leveraging our corporate strengths to enhance the development of unique technologies and differentiated products so that we can provide greater enjoyment of driving and anticipate user preferences to provide satisfaction.

[TOPIC] PROXES CL1 SUV wins Good Design Award 2021

Our PROXES CL1 SUV fuel-efficient tire for SUVs received a Good Design Award 2021 from the Japan Institute of Design Promotion.
The PROXES CL1 SUV tire uses our proprietary T-MODE tire design platform technology to support the level of comfort driving expected of an SUV, adopting a pattern design that segments functions by arranging grooves, sipes and blocks in the tread section in an asymmetrical pattern. The tire was evaluated for its sleek design befitting the stylish image of an SUV and its strong performance both in terms of low tire noise and wear resistance. We will continue to collect a wide range of market information and advance desired tire performance, while also striving to develop high value-added products.

PROXES CL1 SUV wins Good Design Award 2021
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