Fleet News

Toyota offers safety screens to mitigate Covid-19 risk for UK private-hire fleets

Toyota has developed a new cabin safety screen to help mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission for its UK private-hire taxi driver customers and their passengers.

The screen, which has been approved for use by Transport for London (TfL), is made from clear polycarbonate material that Toyota says can reduce the chances of virus transmission.

It is compatible with all recent Prius models and the full Corolla range – hatchback, touring sports and saloon.

Toyota is currently awaiting approval for the screen on larger models like the seven-seat Prius+ and RAV4 SUV.

Installation by Toyota-qualified technicians is required but takes about 10 minutes.

The Japanese manufacturer said the process involves no structural changes and does not damage the car’s interior; the screen is held in place by large tabs on its lower edge that are inserted in the front seatback pockets.

Toyota’s own testing showed that the screen remained securely fixed, even when driving at high speeds with the windows open.

The screen is clear and has a central opening flap for card or cash payments to be made. As well as being suitable for cabs, the system can also be used for demonstration vehicles and accompanied test drives.

The screens are being made by Toyota Manufacturing UK and are available to order through Toyota retailers nationwide. Recommended retail prices, including VAT and fitting, are £195 for the medium screen and £210 for the larger version.

Stuart Ferma, Toyota and Lexus fleet general manager, said: “Transportation services everywhere are having to be adapted to take the risk of coronavirus transmission into account.

“We recognise the particular vulnerability of cab drivers and have come up with a solution we believe is effective and reasonably priced.”

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The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fleet operations and business travel

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A discussion hosted by Fleet News on the UK business response to the fleet challenges presented by Covid-19. 

A panel of experts will provide an insight into the trends and changes that they are seeing, before leading a debate and discussion among participants, including delegates, on future working practices, changes to travel policies, opportunities offered by mobility solutions and implications for fleet sizes, replacement cycles, funding methods and vehicle type.

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Chaired by editor in chief Stephen Briers, in this 45-minute webinar, he will be in conversation with:

  • Dale Eynon is director of Defra Group Fleet Services and will give a fleet operator view of how covid-19 is affecting fleet operations
  • Kit Allwinter is senior consultant at AECOM and is a specialist in sustainable and active travel including shared mobility. He will provide a view on how Covid-19 is changing the way people travel and business working practices, etc. and the implications for travel and fleet activity, especially in urban areas
  • Paul Hollick, chair of the Association of Fleet Professionals. He’ll be representing the views of UK fleets, providing insight into how their operations are likely to evolve and change due to new working practices sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Simon Turner, campaign manager at Driving for Better Business, which has created a Covid-19 toolkit, driver app and management portal to help fleets back to business.

  • Stuart Donnelly, Sixt (sponsor)

Topics:

• Changes to working practices (agile/remote/office working)

• Changes to travel policies (travel to work, travel to client, travel to supplier etc)

• Implications for fleet size (new car/van sales demand)

• Impact on replacement cycles (new car sales demand) and annual mileage

• Impact on demand by vehicle type (EV, Hybrid, Petrol, Diesel)

• Changes in funding preference (fewer traditional 3-4-year contract hire lease agreements and more flexi-hire contracts?)

• Active travel policies (walk, cycle, other)

• Public transport policies (to work, at work)

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