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New Toyota patents: Kinetic cushion, carbon fiber reinforced steel and wireless power

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Announcements | Technology
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Toyota received 2,667 patents in 2023 including for a kinetic seat cushion, steel composite and systems and methods for in-vehicle wireless power, a press release says

The company, which spends $1 million per hour on research and development, ranked seventh among all companies awarded a patent in 2023, Toyota said. 

“This achievement continues to underscore Toyota’s unwavering commitment to innovation, particularly in areas critical to the future of mobility such as electrification and intelligent transportation solutions,” said Sandra Phillips Rogers, senior vice president of Toyota Motor North America Corporate Resources and chief legal officer, in the release. “Our focus is on creating sustainable and advanced technological solutions and contributing to the betterment of society and the industry at large, all while ensuring our innovations are recognized through filings with the USPTO.” 

A kinetic seat cushion is one of the three patents showcased by the company in the release. The cushion is debuting exclusively on the 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro.

The release describes the cushion as “a segment-first IsoDynamic Performance Seat that helps provide a smooth, confidence-inspiring ride for those in the driver and front passenger seats.” 

An air-over-oil shock absorber system allows for vertical and lateral seat movement simultaneously, the release says. The absorption stabilizes the head and neck to keep it aligned with the spine offering an improved field of vision for the driver.

An updated patent for the cushion, filed in February, said the cushion helps reduce fatigue from drivers repeatedly rotating their torsos and pelvis while driving. 

“A need exists for alternative kinetic seat assemblies that offer torso rotation and pelvic rotation in the same direction to maintain a centered position of the driver’s head and knees,” the patent says. 


Toyota also patented a woven carbon fiber reinforced steel matrix composite, the release says.

“By layering the carbon fiber in a weaving pattern sintered with steel nanomaterial, the composite is stiff,” the release says. “This innovation can be used for lightweighting vehicle parts where engineered forms of steel are needed.” 

Toyota’s patent application for the composite says it would reduce the weight of vehicles and planes to improve fuel efficiency while still providing considerable strength. 

The third patent showcased by Toyota is for systems and methods with a dual function coil providing in-vehicle wireless power. 

“This innovation for traction-battery-equipped vehicles (PHEVs and BEVs) uses a dual function coil, installed in the vehicle, that can wirelessly receive power from the grid for recharging the battery and transmit power for the integrated auxiliary power supply,” the release says. “The technology eliminates the need for bulky cables, many connectors, and duty plugs to provide in-vehicle charging and small load power supply (for cabin lights, screens, mobile devices, etc.), thereby enhancing convenience and system integration as well as reducing space needs, cost, and weight of the vehicle.” 

The release claims the company received the most patents in the automotive industry for the 10th consecutive year. 


Photo courtesy of jetcityimage/iStock

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