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What We Do

Toyota created the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) in 2011 to advance mobility safety for industry and society through collaborations with universities, hospitals and other research institutions. With current commitments, CSRC has been allocated $115 million through 2026 for applied traffic safety research in topics related to driving behavior, crash avoidance, and crash injury mitigation.

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Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., at the TMNA R&D HQ, CSRC is a small multidisciplinary team of researchers with a passion for traffic safety and a vision to help pave the way to a future safe mobility society.  These researchers work with external stakeholders and other Toyota engineers in North America, Japan, and around the world to identify key research questions in areas such as human factors, crash data analysis, or biomechanics.  They proactively identify external collaborators with relevant expertise in these fields and connect them with Toyota resources to deliver results of benefit to the industry and society.  By having CSRC researchers in-house, new ideas are exchanged between the research teams and Toyota to enhance both the research output and future Toyota vehicles.

CSRC seeks collaborations with leading universities and research hospitals.  Unlike exclusively proprietary research programs, CSRC is committed to sharing its findings throughout the industry to enhance the mobility and happiness of all.  These findings are intended to contribute to developing industry best practices, to identify novel applications in future products, and to help policymakers make the best decisions based on principles of behavioral safety, active safety, and passive safety.  For a list of publications from contributing authors, please see the CSRC Google Scholar Page.

Inside Toyota, CSRC research projects have helped contribute to customer benefits.  For example, crash data analysis helped guide enhancements to Toyota Safety Sense, the suite of crash avoidance technologies found throughout the Toyota lineup. Biomechanics research helped to update Toyota’s Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS), now freely available to use by independent researchers or other companies.  By studying the way humans use automation and driver assistance systems, new insights can be applied to vehicles with advanced driver assistance technology.

Past research collaborators have included:

MIT AgeLab logo.
IUPUI logo.
UC San Diego logo.
University of Michigan.
Michigan UMTRI logo.
UNMC Nebraska Medicine logo.
University of Virginia logo..
University of Wisconsin- Madison logo.
Virginia Tech logo.
George Mason University logo.
The Rockville Institute.
University of Iowas Public Policy Center graphic logo.
University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics graphic logo.
Team

CSRC is led by a team of industry-leading scientists and engineers with a diverse background in safety research.

Josh Domeyer headshot.

Josh Domeyer, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist
Jason Hallman Headshot.

Jason Hallman, Ph.D.

Senior Manager

John K. Lenneman, Ph.D.

Senior Principal Engineer
Rini Sheroni headshot.

Rini Sherony

Senior Principal Engineer

Zhaonan Sun, Ph.D.

Principal Scientist
Derek Caveney headshot.

Derek Caveney, Ph.D.

Senior Executive Engineer
Danil Prokhorov headshot.

Danil Prokhorov, Ph.D.

Deputy Chief Research Officer, Director, Research Strategy Office (RSO); Director, Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC)

Ananna Ahmed

Senior Research Scientist

Josh Domeyer, Ph.D.

Josh Domeyer is a principal scientist for the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he is a member of the Human-Technology Integration team.

He leads the CSRC research team on vehicle automation-other road user communication, which investigates how to design social vehicle automation that interacts with pedestrians, cyclists and non-automated vehicles. He also contributes to other projects at the intersection of human performance modeling and human-machine interaction.

In 2011, he joined Toyota, where his current research focuses on how to encourage safe, comfortable, and efficient interactions between people and vehicles, whether they are drivers, riders or other road users. He has authored or co-authored more than 20 articles, abstracts and papers professionally with scientific and engineering organizations, such as The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and SAE, exploring how people use technology from a systems perspective. Domeyer has conducted research on human-machine interface design, driver distraction, and the interaction between people and vehicle automation.

Domeyer is the chair of the SAE Safety and Human Factors Committee and is an active expert in the ISO Man-Machine Interface Working Group. He was also awarded the Stephanie Binder Young Professional Award from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society – Surface Transportation Technical Group in 2016 in recognition of his contributions to automotive safety.

He earned master’s and doctoral degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also has a master’s degree in Experimental Psychology from Central Michigan University.

Access his research papers on ResearchGate and Google Scholar.

Jason Hallman, Ph.D.

Jason Hallman is senior manager for the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he supports operations, people leadership and research theme development and is as an injury biomechanics safety subject matter expert and co-leader for system safety research.

He currently serves in various capacities on industry collaborations related to safety and automated vehicles, including the SAE International Journal for Transportation Safety, the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM), and as an ad hoc reviewer for several scientific journals.

For his work, Hallman has been recognized by multiple organizations. He was the 2023 recipient of the Elaine Wodzin Award for Traffic Safety and has been featured in DesignNews magazine as “One of 15 Engineers Transforming the Auto Industry.”   He received Best Paper Awards from the Stapp Car Crash Conference and the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, and has been granted multiple patents. He won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award by Valparaiso University and a graduate research fellowship by the National Science Foundation.

Prior to his current role, Hallman was responsible for automated driving system safety assurance in the Integrated Vehicle Systems division and for the advanced development of future crashworthiness technology in the Vehicle Performance Development division.

He completed a post-doctoral fellowship in injury biomechanics at the Medical College of Wisconsin Department of Neurosurgery, earned a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Marquette University and earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering degree (summa cum laude) from Valparaiso University with an honors designation from Christ College.

Access his research papers on Google Scholar.

John K. Lenneman, Ph.D.

John Lenneman is a senior principal engineer for the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at the Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he is responsible for the execution of R&D projects in Human-Technology Integration (HTI).

Since joining CSRC in August 2016, Lenneman has developed an HTI research strategy, oversaw project execution, published and presented findings, and integrated findings into product development.

Lenneman has served in various capacities in his professional community, including as chair of multiple Human Factors and Ergonomics Society technical groups, as a reviewer for multiple journals and conferences, and as a member of numerous ISO and SAE committees. He has authored or co-authored more than 50 articles, papers and abstracts on various topics, including human factors, psychophysiology and health and wellness.

Additionally, he is listed as an inventor on more than 10 automotive related technology patents.

Before joining Toyota, Lenneman conducted user experience research in commercial and consumer goods, conducted user research for a health and wellness start-up company, consulted for multiple technology development companies, and spent more than 10 years conducting automotive human factors research.

Lenneman earned a Ph.D. in Applied Experimental Psychology from Central Michigan University and a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Access his research papers on Google Scholar.

Rini Sherony

Rini Sherony is a senior principal engineer for the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at the Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she leads active safety, active and passive safety integration, and automated driving research collaborations with research institutes, federal agencies and university partners.

Her research and contributions include the development of standardized test procedures, test targets, sensor requirements, and benefit estimation for active safety systems, such as pre-collision, pedestrian pre-collision system and road departure warning systems.

Since joining TMNA R&D in 1998, Sherony has held various positions in active safety research, system design, evaluation, planning and data analysis.

Sherony has authored and coauthored more than 100 papers and publications. She has been awarded 16 U.S. patents along with several more pending with USPTO, and she is actively involved in SAE Active Safety committees developing pedestrian and bicyclist test target standards and SAE and ISO automated driving test procedures.

Sherony also assists SAE in organizing technical sessions at various conferences along with fellow industry experts, addressing topics such as future challenges of deploying automated driving systems. She is the recent recipient of SAE’s 2019 Forest R. McFarland Award for technical leadership and serves on technical review committees for several international conferences, including IRCOBI, FAST-Zero and Intelligent Vehicle Symposium. She also contributes to technical reviews for industry conferences and journals, such as Accident Analysis and Prevention, and serves on the advisory boards for the Center for Automotive Research, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute’s Center for Connected and Automated Technologies, M-City research programs and Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine.

Sherony has a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering and is a member of the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers.

Access her research papers on Google Scholar.

Zhaonan Sun, Ph.D.

Zhaonan Sun is a principal scientist in the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he leads injury biomechanics safety research projects. His previous research has mainly focused on mechanical characterization and computational modeling of human tissues, which directly contributed to updates for Toyota’s freely available Total Human Model for Safety (THUMS) Version 7.

He currently serves as a member of the Scientific Program Committee of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) and reviewer for many scientific journals, including Traffic Injury Prevention, Journal of Biomechanics, ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, etc. He earned a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia and a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (with first honors) from the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Prior to joining Toyota, he was a senior R&D engineer at Align technology.

Access his research papers on Google Scholar.

Derek Caveney, Ph.D.

Derek Caveney is a senior executive engineer within Advanced Mobility R&D at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he supports the global development of automated and connected driving technologies for safety, comfort and fuel-efficiency applications.

He joined Toyota in 2005 as a senior research scientist.

Caveney has been a member of the Society of Automotive Engineering since 2007 and represents Toyota at the Automated Vehicle Safety Consortium under SAE-ITC. In 2020, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed him to serve a three-year term on the Council on Future Mobility and Electrification.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Engineering in Applied Mathematics from Queen’s University, Kingston, in Canada, in 1999 and a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2001 and 2004, respectively.

Danil Prokhorov, Ph.D.

Danil Prokhorov has been involved in research and planning for various intelligent technologies, such as highly automated vehicles, AI and other futuristic systems at TMNA R&D since 2005.

Since 2011, he has been in charge of the Future Research Department and Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC, since 2021). His department demonstrated the feasibility of autonomous driving on public roads in 2011, and his department’s efforts in personal flying mobility were pioneering for Toyota, allowing the company to join forces with Joby Aviation in 2020.

He has served as a panel expert for NSF, DOE, ARPA, NAE, SAE for more than 20 years. He was a board member of IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and he is a fellow of the International Neural Network Society (INNS). Prokhorov is also a recipient of 1999 INNS Young Investigator Award and 2019 INNS Dennis Gabor Award.

Prokhorov was associate editor (AE) of IEEE Transactions on Neural Networks and Learning Systems (2004-2018), and currently serves as Senior Editor of IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Vehicles, AE of IEEE Transactions on Cognitive and Developmental Systems, IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine and Neural Networks (Elsevier).

He has authored many peer-reviewed publications and more than 100 patents.

Prior to joining Toyota, he was with the Ford Scientific Research Laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan, where he pursued machine learning research focusing on neural networks with applications to system modeling, powertrain control, diagnostics and optimization. Before that, he was in Russia studying system engineering, which included courses in math, physics, mechatronics, computer technologies, aerospace, and robotics.

He earned a Master of Science with Honors in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1992 and his US Doctorate in 1997.

His publication list is available here

Ananna Ahmed

Ananna Ahmed is a senior research scientist in the Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at Toyota Motor North America Research & Development (TMNA R&D) in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where she leads road users’ safety research projects. Her background is in Transportation engineering and focused on researching safety concerns and new safety treatments for vulnerable road users. Prior to joining TMNA R&D, she supported the Federal Highway Administration Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center’s Human Factors Program as an on-site contractor with Leidos, Inc., where she studied the human factors aspect of connected vehicle technology and traffic safety.

Her current research interest includes promoting safe driving behavior through technological intervention, leveraging technologies to detect impairments, and investigating the state of practice of in-vehicle seat restraints for diverse occupants. Her new projects will include leveraging advanced driving assistance systems to promote safe driving behavior.

Access her research publications on Google Scholar.

Careers

CSRC team members are furthering its mission: advancing safety for all. When you join the CSRC team, you’ll be taking a collaborative approach to move forward mobility safety systems across the industry at an accelerated rate to contribute to a safer future.

For a listing of available jobs, visit Toyota’s career portal.

 

News
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CSRC’s Rini Sherony Earns International Safety Award

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CSRC and Teen Driver Safety Week 2022

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CSRC Introduces New Research Projects Exploring the Safety Needs of an Evolving Mobility Ecosystem

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CSRC Hosts Virtual Media Event – WATCH video

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CSRC members featured at 2022 Lifesavers Conference

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Innovative Headlights, Studied by CSRC, Could Help Save Pedestrians, Bicyclists

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Toyota Renews Investment in Collaborative Safety Research Center for 2022-2026

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