The ECS Toyota Young Investigator Fellowship, a partnership between The Electrochemical Society and Toyota Research Institute of North America, a division of Toyota Motor North America, is in its fourth year. The fellowship aims to encourage young professors and scholars to pursue research in green energy technology that may promote the development of next-generation vehicles capable of utilizing alternative fuels.
The transportation industry is evolving, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk is a driving force behind that evolution.
Ten years ago, Musk first outlined his master plan, which included the development of affordable electric cars (including the recently released Tesla Model 3). Now, Musk has released his “Master Plan, Part Deux,” which shifts emphasis from the development of electric cars to the implementation of new (sometimes controversial) autonomous driving technology. Not only does Musk hope to apply this technology to Tesla vehicles, but also expand to self-driving buses and trucks. This could mean trucks on autopilot that could lead to “a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transportation” in long trips.
According to Musk, the purpose of these plans is to “[accelerate] the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good. That’s what ‘sustainable’ means. It’s not some silly, hippy thing – it matters for everyone.”
Toyota is looking to propel the future of the fuel cell vehicle with the recent announcement that they will be granting royalty-free use to thousands of their patents.
“I’m happy and extremely proud to announce to you today that Toyota will grant royalty-free use of all 5,680 of our fuel cell patents, including pending patents,” said Senior Vice President of Toyota’s Automotive Operations, Bob Carter, on January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
The patents are to be used by companies manufacturing and selling fuel cell vehicles. Carter stated that these patents – which are critical to the development and production of fuel cells vehicles – will be available through 2020.