From November 8 Toyota is giving consumers a chance to change the world for the better with the launch of its "Ideas for good" project.


The idea behind the online project is to take one of five technologies used by Toyota and adapt it so that it can be used in a way that will benefit the world outside of the automotive industry. The five technologies that entrants' ideas must incorporate are: "THUMS" - an advanced injury simulation software, a solar powered ventilation system, the hybrid synergy drive motor system, an advanced parking sensor and the "touch tracer" display Toyota designed to improve driver concentration. An example of these technologies being used to benefit others is the use of the THUMS system by researchers in American football injuries.

The competition closes to entrants on February 28; the winning idea will be chosen by a combination of independent judges and a public vote. Entrants can submit more than one idea and the idea must be submitted in English. The winning entrant will be awarded a 2011 Prius, Venza or Highlander Hybrid vehicle.

The "Ideas for good" competition is by no means the first time a company has tried to engage the public by focusing on its philanthropic side: "Cause marketing," as this type of campaign is known, is a growing trend. For example, soft drinks manufacturer Pepsi created the "Pepsi refresh project," which allows anyone to submit an idea regarding what they would do to change the area or environment around them. The ideas are then subjected to public vote and winning ideas receive funding ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. The combination of an open ideas platform, public voting and charitable donations has earned the drinks brand over 2,001,400 Facebook fans.

Information about the Toyota project can be found at: and

Information about the Pepsi refresh project can be found at: