With physical distancing among the practices for preventing the spread of infectious diseases, Toyota has revealed a droplet shield for installation in the Hiace, where it is to be installed between the front row and second row. Compatible for the Hiace from the 2013 facelift onwards, this can be fitted to variants such as the Grand Wagon, Commuter, wheelchair-accessible variants and other variants.

Priced at 27,500 yen (RM1,035) in Japan, the droplet shield is made of transparent vinyl and can be removed for cleaning, and features a zipper which appears to run two-thirds of the shield’s height, and which can be opened and closed from both sides of the shield.

Through the course of Toyota’s ongoing Covid-19 relief efforts, customers learnt of the manufacturer’s vehicles which were outfitted with equipment to suppress the circulation of droplets, and were keen for the droplet shields to be made commercially available for the Hiace through Toyota dealers, said the company.

To expedite commercialisation of the product, Toyota brought a prototype shield based on its “Room Separator Curtain” to medical and welfare sites, drew upon feedback from its users and refined the product through the ‘Kaizen’ process as it has done for its automobiles. The droplet shield that has eventually been developed for sale is part of its efforts to “mass-produce happiness” and contribute to society, says Toyota.