LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2023) – The innovative IsoDynamic Performance Seats found in the upcoming 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro are engineered to make mountains feel like molehills. Leave it to software engineers, then, to create an arcade inspired “TRD Pro Time Attack” video game to showcase just how much smoother they can make off-road driving in real time, all without the need to head to the great outdoors.
Debuting this week at the SEMA Show in the great indoors of the Las Vegas Convention Center, TRD Pro Time Attack pairs the new IsoDynamic Performance Seat with a six-degree-of-freedom simulator and gaming experience created in-house by software company Toyota Connected North America (TCNA). In it, drivers navigate a dynamic, high-speed course to experience how the IsoDynamic Performance Seat is designed to help reduce fatigue compared to a normal seat by stabilizing the ride on rough terrain.
“Our goal was to demonstrate the performance capabilities our R&D engineers built into the IsoDynamic Performance Seat, leveraging cutting-edge video game technologies,” said Eric Bursch, design and innovation lead, TCNA. “Gamifying the experience allows us to show how the IsoDynamic Performance Seat performs on a simulated off-road course in a way that’s both fun and educational for those wanting to understand its benefits.”
Bursch spent time with Toyota Motor North America’s (TMNA) R&D engineers in Ann Arbor, Michigan, studying how the IsoDynamic Performance Seats damp out terrain undulations. The team also compared their findings to data gathered on Toyota’s Arizona proving grounds to fine-tune the simulator. Reciprocally, R&D engineers joined TCNA in Plano, Texas, to help calibrate vibration levels felt through the simulator’s hydraulics to further align the game and reality.
The TCNA Immersive Experiences team created a completely custom, high-speed Baja-style racecourse in-house and collaborated with longtime Toyota partner JBL to create an audio profile to complement the experience.
The team draws from the background of engineers and artists who have worked in the video game and phone app industries. This blend of engineering and gaming would not have been possible without the expertise and leadership of Allen Danklefsen, TCNA’s Technical Executive Producer, who brings with him 18 years of game development experience.
“Customers considering a 2024 Toyota Tacoma may not have access to an off-road park to test the mettle of the new IsoDynamic Performance Seats,” said Danklefsen. “If we can provide drivers an experience that engages them and helps them confidently find the truck that’s right for them, then that’s what matters. The fact we can do this with cutting-edge technology is all the more satisfying.”
The 2024 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro is anticipated to go on sale spring 2024. The TRD Pro Time Attack is available to SEMA attendees October 31 through November 3.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in the U.S. for more than 65 years, and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our nearly 1,500 dealerships.
Toyota directly employs more than 49,000 people in the U.S. who have contributed to the design, engineering, and assembly of more than 33 million cars and trucks at our nine manufacturing plants. By 2025, Toyota’s 10th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. With more electrified vehicles on the road than any other automaker, Toyota currently offers 26 electrified options.
Through its Driving Possibilities initiative, the Toyota USA Foundation has committed $110 million to create innovative educational programs within, and in partnership with, historically underserved and diverse communities near the company’s 14 U.S. operating sites.
About Toyota Connected, Inc.
Based in Plano, Texas, Toyota Connected North America (TCNA) was established in 2016 to contribute toward Toyota’s global vision for an intelligent mobile society. TCNA is an independent Toyota company that serves as a software and innovation hub, leveraging big data from vehicles to humanize the driving experience and provide customers secure, seamless and contextual services. Comprised primarily of software engineers and data scientists, TCNA serves as a center of excellence for connected services that elevate the customer experience as well as benefitting dealers, distributors and partners. At the heart of TCNA is Toyota’s belief in human-centered mobility and a fundamental commitment to personal privacy. Learn more at www.toyotaconnected.com.