TOYOTA Smart Center enables integrated control of energy consumption
Toyota today announced the development of the TOYOTA Smart Center, a system that links homes, vehicles, electric power companies and users, and enables integrated control of energy consumption. The TOYOTA Smart Center uses plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles both of which are expected to gain greater use—and home energy management system (HEMS)-equipped smart houses to monitor and coordinate energy used by the vehicles and houses involved, the electricity supplied by the power company, as well as the electricity generated by the houses from, for example, solar panels. It also enables remote monitoring and coordination by providing information to the people using the vehicles and houses. Furthermore, with a smart phone, users can remotely check the current battery charge of their vehicle and the distance it could travel, adjust the charging time or turn the air-conditioning on or off to ready the car for use.
The system can also optimize energy consumption based on users’ lifestyles and automatically control vehicle-battery charging and water-heater use to systematically and reliably make possible energy-saving lifestyles. Toyota is conducting trials of the TOYOTA Smart Center in two houses constructed by Toyota Housing Corporation linked with eight PHVs. Trials will be conducted over approximately two years to improve the system. Toyota hopes to market similar systems with PHVs scheduled for launch in early 2012 and with some Toyota Housing homes. With the TOYOTA Smart Center, Toyota aims to link people, homes and vehicles to support the development of a low-carbon society and the establishment of more comfortable and environmentally conscious living.