How can cities address urban sustainability and the complexities of connected technology and connected vehicles?

Toyota leaders will join 350 of the world’s greatest thinkers at the Meeting of the Minds 2014 summit next week, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, to explore this urban transformation and ways of harnessing the power of technology.

Toyota stated it is co-founder of the event and has been the presenting sponsor since its inception in 2007. This year’s three-day long summit will be held at the College for Creative Studies’ Taubman Center for Design Education in Detroit.

“Like many cities who saw their own stars shine with the rise of the Industrial Age, Detroit is now at a tipping point and it offers the perfect platform for the discussion of alternative urban futures,” said Jessie Feller, executive director of the non-profit Meeting of the Minds. “Toyota has been our partner for this annual event, and their thought leadership will contribute greatly to the robust discussions planned over the three days.”

Chuck Gulash, director of Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) at the Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., will present during “The Complete Street of 2030” workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 1. Toyota said it believes that rapidly emerging technologies will have a profound effect on automotive safety over the next five to 10 years. The company is investing in advanced connected and automated vehicle technologies that hold the potential to revolutionize automotive safety with the philosophy of always keeping the driver engaged.

Toyota added it is committed to expanding the use of advanced safety technology across its product line. The company explained its goal is to be the world’s first full-line manufacturer to offer a pre-collision package on every vehicle, across the entire Toyota lineup, by 2017. Doing so requires driving down costs to customers from luxury vehicles, to trucks and SUVs, to the most affordable compacts.

On Thursday, Oct. 2, Nihar Patel, Toyota Motor Sales’ vice president of North American business strategy, will share the company’s vision for spotting and creating future trends and making investment decisions during the “Dancing with Giants” session.

Toyota said Patel will detail Toyota’s work on fuel cell vehicles, which the company expects to be the “next big thing” in automotive technology. Toyota will begin selling its first commercial zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV) next summer in California.

Patel will also share Toyota’s plans to support the long-term operation and maintenance of a hydrogen refueling station network in California. Yes, Toyota said the FCV will be on display to attendees of the Meeting of the Minds.

At the summit, Toyota said it will also show the newest generation Driver Awareness Research Vehicle – DARV1.5 – which is part of the company’s ongoing research into the dynamics of driver distraction at the CSRC. The Toyota DARV 1.5 is said to use advanced technology, including Microsoft’s Surface and Kinect and custom biometric software and algorithms by Infosys, to help driver, passengers and the vehicle itself work together as a team to achieve safer driving.