Toyota’s latest technology isn’t all about the open road, it’s equally useful on the high seas. The Japan International Boat Show in Yokohama hosted the debut of the Toyota Virtual Anchor System, fitted to the new Ponam 35-foot luxury leisure cruiser.
TVAS is designed to help the skipper keep the boat in place without having to drop anchor – something that’s particular handy when wanting to fish in a specific spot.
It uses GPS to determine the craft’s location and an on-board computer to monitor wind direction and tide flow.
Using this data, it automatically aligns the bow against the wind direction and tide flow, without excessive increases in engine speed. Any changes in conditions are instantly detected and the boat is brought back to its original position.
The system has different modes that can be used to maintain a steady drifting speed into the wind, and to keep the boat on a set compass bearing, regardless of wind conditions.
In essence the technology is about efficient vehicle control, just like the systems we find at work in Toyota’s cars, too, ranging from Hill-start Assist Control to Sop & Start and the Eco mode that’s featured in the hybrid models.