No Child Left Behind--Toyota's Efforts to Save Young Lives on School Buses


In both 2021 and 2022, Japan experienced incidents where children died after being accidentally locked on school buses. Yuta Tomikawa reports on the safety measures taken by Toyota to ensure such tragedies are not repeated.

While children play happily inside the kindergarten, out in the parking lot, the temperature on board the school bus can exceed 40 degrees in the summer. How would it feel to be locked in there alone—especially for a child?

In two incidents in 2021 and 2022, kindergarten pupils died of heatstroke after being left behind on board school buses. These tragedies, occurring within the vehicles that children enjoy riding every day, sparked widespread anguish and highlighted the need for adults to take action.

“Urgently seeking members—Let’s eliminate school bus incidents by the summer of 2023.”

This appeal, put out by a Toyota employee in the wake of the 2022 incident, was answered by 70 like-minded colleagues. They came from different backgrounds and roles, united by a shared purpose. What safety measures did this group come up with?

Saving lives with Toyota technology

The world looks different to children and adults, which is why it’s important to put yourself in the shoes of those involved. Tomikawa looked at measures from the perspective of both children and drivers.

On the school bus, teachers and drivers hold the lives of children in their hands. No one wants to see their daily efforts to care for each and every child undone by a moment’s oversight. As well as the children themselves, Toyota’s safety measures protect the people who work on the frontlines.

Meanwhile, what would happen if you blacked out while driving at 80 km/h?

Toyota’s life-saving features can also be found in passenger cars, including technology that keeps both drivers and pedestrians free from harm.

Alongside these various efforts to make cars safer in society, we also feature the recent press conference for a four-company collaboration that will transform the future of Japan’s commercial vehicles. Don’t miss it!

00:34 2021 and 2022 school bus incidents
02:10 Toyota’s efforts to prevent children being left on board
05:39 Solutions from both perspectives
11:30 Peace of mind for teachers and bus drivers
14:24 Help from every corner of the company
17:04 What happens if a driver loses consciousness?
20:41 Systems to prevent pedal error accidents
23:46 Five Star Award for vehicle safety performance
26:13 [World Toyota News] Changing the future of Japan’s commercial vehicles