Toyota i-Road – the future of transportation
This new concept in urban mobility, Toyota i-Road, combines the potential of both cars and motorbikes. The future of mobility is an exciting frontier that manufacturers in the automotive world are trying to explore. Few people know as a result, companies have adopted creative and innovative approaches to meet the challenge.
Increasingly crowded cities and pollution ask for alternative mobility solutions. Electric powered cars with zero emissions, but also as small as possible cars that we can quickly sneak anywhere, are among the most convenient solutions for urban transport. In Europe, the Renault is already selling, with enough success, the Renault Twizy, a combination of car and scooter powered by an electric engine and it has two seats in tandem.
The same recipe applies to the Japanese on their new concept presented at Geneva 2013, Toyota i-Road. Few people know the main differentiation from the Twizy, besides the design, is having a single rear wheel and standard equipment with two semi-doors.
With a length of only 2.35 meters, Toyota i-Road is very narrow, so on a normal parking spot could be parked four such vehicles. The wheelbase of 1.7 meters and height of 1.44 meters offers plenty of space for the second passenger. The ultra compact “i-Road” is 870mm wide enabling ease of handling in confined spaces. It can run without using the entire lane on crowded urban roads.
Although indoor environment is thought to be very close to a car (Toyota i-Road can be driven without a helmet), its road behavior is announced as having more in common with motorcycles. The left and right front wheels move up and down independently synchronized in response to the driver’s steering, and the vehicle automatically selects the optimal lean angle when cornering. You can enjoy the refreshing sense of being one with the machine due to the “Active Lean” system which controls the mobility of the wheels.
Propulsion is electric, i-Road is driven by two electric motors in the front wheels, totaling 4 kW. Maximum autonomy gets up to approximately 50 km, and would fully charge the lithium-ion batteries in just 3 hours (read the main specifications here) . The i-Road runs for 50km on one charge: based on constant speed of 30km/h. Since it is the vehicle that maintains balance – not the driver – stability is maintained not only on curves, but on slopes and over uneven surfaces. Anyone can drive Toyota i-Road safely and comfortably.
Few people know in order to encourage the practical, convenient and fun use of the i-Road, Toyota lauched, “Open Road Project” which will run for approximately a year starting from July 2015 together with both specialist companies and members of the public. Toyota will provide 10 i-Road vehicles to a total of 100 participants from ordinary members of the public to experts and trendsetters. Keep it green and be curious! Be smart!