Toyota Invests $22 Million Towards Autonomous Vehicle Technology

Toyota i-Road Vehicle - Toyota Autonomous Technology
Toyota’s been dedicated to developing new technology since Day 1. They’ve pledged to spend $1 billion developing new autonomous vehicle technology. The $22 million they are giving to the Toyota Research Institue is just a geat place to start.

Throughout the automotive industry, companies seem to be racing to be the first to produce automatic vehicles, but it’s clear that one automaker is truly committing to a big change. Just recently, Toyota pledged $22 million to autonomous vehicle technology.

Specifically, the Toyota Research Institute (TRI) will give the money to University of Michigan faculty over four years, who will spend it on the development of cars that can drive without the aid of a human driver.

Toyota Research Institute

The university also works on other autonomous tech, mostly including robotics and mobility devices that will aid the disabled, such as stair-climbing wheelchairs. The TRI’s money will benefit these programs as well, expanding the university’s opportunities.

Toyota’s Donations

Toyota has previously pledged to donate $1 billion towards autonomous tech over the coming years, so this $22 million is just a taste of what Toyota can do. Such a large monetary commitment to autonomous technology indicates that Toyota might just be the first automaker to offer self-driving cars to the public.

We can’t wait to see what Toyota and the University of Michigan can make together in the next four years. In the meantime, to see what Toyota currently has in store, visit us anytime here at Shults Toyota.

Amazing Technologies Featured in Toyota Vehicles

2017 Toyota Camry Technology
When considering a new vehicle, one of top things many people consider is new technology. Toyota’s latest vehicles all have the latest technology including hands free phone access and connectivity.

In today’s technologically-advanced world, vehicles need to be more than a means to get from Point A to Point B. They must also serve as a central hub for technology, and no other automotive brand understands this better than Toyota. That’s why Toyota offers drivers more technology than any other brand of vehicle! We decided to compile a list of just a few of the amazing technologies featured in Toyota vehicles.

Voice Recognition

One of the first things you learn at driving school is to keep both hands on the wheel. However, with so many systems to work inside your vehicle, this is often easier said than done. Voice Recognition makes it easier said and easier done, requiring the use of no hands to access some of your vehicle’s most important systems!

Bluetooth® Access to Your Phone Book

Drivers have always wanted a safe way to make calls from the inside of their vehicle’s cabin. Now they can, with Toyota’s combination of Bluetooth® Hands-Free calling and access to their phone book and contacts.

Entune™ Premium Audio

Drivers were impressed when Satellite Radio granted them access to more radio stations than ever before. Therefore, drivers will be blown away by Toyota’s Entune™ Premium Audio, which grants them access to several music streaming apps!

For some of the latest and greatest vehicle technologies, you can never go wrong with a Toyota!

What To and What Not To Pack for Your Student’s Trip to College

Students Sitting in Classroom - Pack for Your Student’s Trip to College
You have enough to worry about with your child heading off to college for the first time. Let us help you with some packing advice.

For many new students, college will be the first time that they are on their own. Therefore, it may be tempting for these students to pack up everything that they own from home, which is not a terribly feasible option. To help out, we’ve compiled a list of what and what not to pack for your student’s trip to college.

Don’t Pack Up Furniture

Most colleges offer fully furnished rooms for on-campus buildings. Therefore, if your student is moving in, they won’t have to pack up their bed, couch, or desk, leaving a ton of room for other supplies!

Pack Up a Bike

Getting around campus can be pretty daunting for the first couple of weeks. Therefore, students usually rely upon a quick means of transportation to get to class on time. They can always rely upon a bike if they bring it with them!

Don’t Pack Up Doubles of Everything

Make sure that your student communicates what they are bringing with their roommate. The last thing that they need is to have two of everything in an already crowded dorm room!

Pack Up Quarters and Change

At some point, your student is going to have to do the laundry. Many campuses have laundry machines that only accept quarters and change. Make sure that your student has plenty of change just in case.

By packing up only what they need, your student will have a quick and easy move into their new college Campus! One final tip is to teach them how to change a tire if they are heading to college with a car. This can save them if they get a flat tire while away from home!

Why You Shouldn’t Miss This Year’s Chautauqua County Fair

There will be lots of rides at the Chautauqua County Fair in Dunkirk, NY.
The Chautauqua County Fair will host lots of rides that are open from 3:00 PM – 11:00 PM every night. It’s the perfect way to have a date night or family outing!

Every year, the Chautauqua County Fair gets bigger and bigger—and this year’s event promises to be the most entertaining festival yet. Taking place in Dunkirk, New York from July 25-31, 2016, the 133rd Chautauqua County Fair will bring together farming, food, and fun for an incredibly low admission price.

The festival begins on Monday when the gates open at 9am, and the rides open at 3pm throughout the week, closing at 11 pm each evening. On weekends, rides start running two hours earlier.

If you’re not into carnival rides, there’s plenty else to see and do at the Chautauqua County Fair. The Budweiser Grandstand is the venue for a demolition derby, high wire act, stagecoach riders, and monster truck races. Illusionist Josh Knots will be performing each night at The Arthur Maytum Family Theater. Other arenas in the park will be parading the best horses and livestock, and children will especially love the petting zoo area.

For a day outdoors your whole family will enjoy without costing you a lot of money, head to the Chautauqua County Fair this July! Get your tickets here. We hope to see you at the Chautauqua County Fair! Thanks for choosing Shults Toyota!

Bemus Bay Pops Summer Concert Series Strikes a Chord with Music Lovers

Bemus Bay Pops Summer Concert Series - Concert Stage
There are so many reasons why we are proud to serve the Jamestown community and the love of great, local music is one of them. The Bemus Bay Pops Summer Concert Series is one of the best ways to spend a summer night!

There’s only one place in the Chautauqua Region to see world-class musicians and unforgettable performances. Laying down the beat on the iconic Chautauqua Lake Floating Stage, the Bemus Bay Pops will be providing the community with smooth rhythms all summer long.

Every weekend in the summer, the Bemus Bay Pops hosts a wide variety of musical and entertainment performances for you to enjoy. Whether it’s classical, jazz, country, oldies rock, or another genre, you’re bound to hear it at the Bemus Bay Pops Summer Concert Series.

Highlights for this summer’s concert series include tributes to ABBA, Journey, The Who, and Rod Stewart, plus impersonator Karen Grainger, a local vocal competition, Praise on the Lake, a water ski show, and so much more. In fact, you’ll find multiple events each weekend, with dozens throughout the summer.

Since 1998, the Bemus Bay Pops has been attracting and entertaining thousands of people each summer with its seasonal concert series. See why Jamestown and Chautauqua County are known for fantastic music performances and beautiful water views!

Shults Toyota Presents Bonafest 2016

Bonafest 2016 - Shults Toyota
Bonafest 2016 - Shults Toyota
Bonafest 2016 at St. Bonaventure Parish promises to be a fun afternoon!

Summer is festival season and we are sponsoring another fun one for you: Bonafest. Have you been to Bonafest? If not, you’re missing out! This fun event hosted by St. Bonaventure Parish includes an auction, lots of fun kids games, delicious food, alcoholic beverages for those 21+, soft drinks, homemade baked goods, and lots of entertainment.

Not only will this festival feature lots of fun all afternoon, but it’s also connected to a fun 5k Run/Walk. The fun 5k starts at 9:00am for Runners and at 9:05 for walkers. You can register online for this fun event. If you check in early the day of the event, there will be coffee and juice available.

We love to support this festival since it’s one of the main fundraisers for the dealership and helps support their service efforts all year long.

Where can you go to have all this fun? Just head over to the St. Bonaventure Catholic Church at 95 E Main Street in Allegany, New York. The festival takes place on Saturday, July 9th from 12:00PM – 7:00PM. We hope to see you there!

Best Road Trip Songs for the Ultimate Playlist

best road trip songs - Woman riding in car
Add these songs to your road trip playlist and get ready to rock out all trip long.

For many people, one of the most exciting aspects of planning a road trip is putting together the inevitable playlist. Singing and dancing together with your friends or family on the way to your destination can be one of the most memorable parts of your vacation, or, if you’re the one stuck with driving duty at 3:00 in the morning, music can be a way to amuse yourself and keep your eyes open while everyone else is out cold. The key to compiling great road trip songs is that they be songs that most people like universally, because odds are, not everyone in your car has the same music taste.

Classic Rock

Oftentimes, the best way to go is through the classic rock genre. Everybody loves it; you might have a few memories of listening to it back when your parents were the one driving the car on a family road trip, but odds are your kids will recognize a few classic rock songs, too. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey and “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC are a couple favorites to play on the open road, along with Queen’s infamous “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which is a great high-energy tune when everybody in the car just needs to rock out to an old favorite.

Beatles Hits

To go back even further, the Beatles have a number of great road trip-themed songs in their discography, like “Two of Us,” “Drive my Car,” “Ticket to Ride,” or “Day Tripper.” The fact that the Beatles are still widely-known for their contributions today speaks volumes about the universal quality of their music.

Car-Themed Songs

Saying there are a number of other songs dealing with cars or road trips, whether with your friends or a love interest, is an understatement. Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive,” Beastie Boys’ “No Sleep Til Brooklyn,” Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” and the Eagles’ “Life in the Fast Lane” are all great additions to any playlist.

Remember, the best road trip songs are those that have personal significance to you and your riders. Maybe you have an inside joke about a particular song, or your friends have a song that you can’t help but dance to. You could keep the energy going the whole trip, or intersperse some soothing low-tempo songs in there to take a break. It’s up to you!

Toyota’s Case for Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

Toyota Mirai - Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles
Toyota’s focused on green energy and their Toyota Mirai is one of the best Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles on the market today.

With more and more green technologies making their way to the road every year, Toyota is looking to make a case for its own hydrogen fuel cell technology. While hybrid electric cars are some of the most prominent alternatives on the road, hydrogen has plenty of benefits for the environment as well as drivers.

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are still relatively new, with the Toyota Mirai making headlines when it launched in California last November. Fuel cell vehicles only emit water, making them a much better choice for the atmosphere. As a benefit for drivers, the Mirai can be refueled in just three minutes as opposed to hours of charging for electric vehicles.

The largest obstacle facing fuel cell technology is refueling infrastructure.

“The big problem is … not enough hydrogen refueling stations,” said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota chairman. “If we want fuel cell vehicles to become popular, we have to build infrastructure from the ground up.  And that is no easy task.”

In an effort to make hydrogen fuel cell vehicles more viable for automakers, the company released over 5,600 patents on its fuel cell technology. That seems to have sped up things with automakers partnering up to bring more hydrogen fuel cell technology to the road.

Here at Shults Toyota, we’re proud to be a part of another industry-changing technology!

3 Fun Uses for Old Tires

2015 Toyota Camry tires - uses for old tires
What do you do when your old tires need to be replaced? Well, you can always repurpose them and use them for one of these fun ideas.

Tires are one of those necessary things for modern day drivers that are incredibly annoying to get rid of once they’re spent up. While most cities have a tire collection event once or twice a year, sometimes you can’t always make the date. Luckily for you, there are plenty of uses for old tires. Here are a handful of fun things to do with old tires from us here at Shults Toyota!

  1. Planters – As it turns out, tires are a perfect choice for holding your beautiful flowers. After a little cutting and redecorating, a tire can look like a planter bought at the store. Grab your old tires, some paint, and your plants and go to work!
  2. Sandbox – If you have little kids, a large tire is big enough to become a sandbox. Truck and tractor tires work best due to their size but a regular car tire can be a good backup. Slather on some paint, add some sand, and let your children run wild. Best of all, they won’t care that it isn’t store-bought.
  3. Tire Swing – If you have a large tree, a rope or chain, and an old tire, you can create a tire swing from scratch. All you have to do is hang the tire from the tree and your kids will have a blast. Consider painting the tire first for an eye-catching toy kids will love!

What to Take with You When You Go Off-Roading

2016 4Runner - 3 Essential Off-Roading Supplies
Make sure when you head out for your next time on the trails, you bring these 3 essential off-roading supplies along to make your life a little easier.

Off-roading can be incredibly fun, and it can be a relatively safe endeavor as well—provided you bring the right gear. Believe it or not, you need more than just an off-road-capable truck, like the Tacoma and Tundra, when you want to hit the trails. Whether you’re new to off-roading or looking for some tips from us here at Shults Toyota, here’s a few things you need to take with you when you go off-roading.

  • Trash Bag – No one likes litter, especially in nature and on trails. If you aren’t one for just throwing trash in your car, take a trash bag along for the ride. Planning on eating along the way? A trash bag definitely will come in handy. Taking a trash bag is also a great tip for keeping the interior of your car clean and keeping trash off the trails and campsites.
  • Prescriptions – If you’re on medication, it’s a good idea to bring some along. Even if you aren’t planning on staying out for more than a few hours, there’s always the possibility you could get stuck. If that happens, having medication on-hand is one less thing to worry about.
  • Extra Clothes – Getting stuck sucks and clambering out of your vehicle through mud isn’t any fun, especially if you don’t have any spare clothes. A set of extra clothes can go a long way if you find yourself covered in mud. Not only will it help protect the interior of your vehicle from all the mud (have that spare trash bag? you can put your clothes in it), but it will make you feel a hundred times better.