Big news for the people with disabilities – Japanese auto giant Toyota is taking on a new challenge to help move towards a more inclusive future. Toyota Mobility Foundation, a charity founded by Toyota in 2014, made a huge announcement this month.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation, in partnership with the UK-based Nesta, has announced a $4 million competition to encourage the development of new smart mobility technology to support people with lower-limb paralysis.
According to TechCrunch, Toyota is calling innovators across the world to create technology that will help radically improve the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis. The newly announced competition will be called Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge and will be open to teams around the world. The new competition will also include several rounds and prizes, leading up to the winner, which will be announced in Tokyo in 2020.
About the Competition
Sponsored by the Toyota Mobility Foundation and Nesta’s Challenge Prize Center, the Mobility Unlimited Challenge will be open to teams around the world, including startup companies. The primary goal is to encourage creative thinking and new development to help transform the world for people with lower-limb paralysis.
The competition will focus on the development of new mobility solutions that could include anything from exoskeletons to intelligent systems and machine learning technology. The 10 best entries will receive initial funding of $50,000. Additionally, five teams will be shortlisted to receive funding of $500,000 to start working on their new prototype device.
Finally, the overall and challenge winner will receive a total grand prize of over $1 million. All participating teams, including startup companies, will keep their intellectual property (IP). More importantly, the financial rewards are intended to help them bring their products to the market.
What the New Competition Will Bring to the World
The World Health Organization estimates around 250,000 to 500,000 new paralysis cases every year, with the most common causes being the spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, and strokes. But development in the smart mobility technology has brought new hope for people with reduced mobility.
Unfortunately, the application of this new smart mobility technology is somewhat slow, due to some technical issues and external factors such as regulatory burdens, reimbursement complexities from insurance companies and healthcare systems. This created an unattractive field to new entrants and prevents innovative solutions from getting into the market.
Thankfully, the Japanese auto giant is leading a massive effort to address this issue. And this month, it launched a new initiative that will finally bring about a truly mobile society. The Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge is expected to bring groundbreaking technology and support the lives of millions of people with lower-limb paralysis.
Toyota Mobility Unlimited Challenge Prize is bringing the new competition with huge support from a number of ambassadors from around the world. All of these ambassadors have knowledge and experience of living with people with lower-limb paralysis.
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