Toyota i-Road to Join Japanese Urban Transport System Trials
Toyota has announced the introduction of the i-Road personal mobility concept car to the “Ha:mo” urban transport system trials. The concept, which made its world debut at 2012 Geneva motor show, will be used alongside existing Toyota COMS personal mobility vehicles from early 2014.
“Ha:mo”, which stands for “Harmonious Mobility Network”, is an urban transport system designed to combine all forms of public and private transportation with the aim of improving traffic flow and reducing emissions. The system, currently undergoing operational trials in Toyota City, in Japan’s Aichi Prefecture, uses electric vehicle car sharing and traffic routing information to ensure travellers use the most appropriate form of transportation.
The introduction of Toyota’s i-Road concept is just one action in the expansion of the “Ha:mo” system:
1. Increase in size of electric vehicle fleet
• Number of COMS electric vehicles increased from 10 to 100 in October. All COMS vehicles will be fitted with keyless operation.
• Number of Yamaha PAS power-assisted bicycles increased from 10 to 100 in October.
2. Introduction of “Ha:mo” smartphone application
The new “Ha:mo” application will have a range of features including:
• Suggestion of new route options based upon traffic flow and local vehicle station stocking levels
• Reservation of vehicles
• Access to local bus timetables
• ‘Push’ notifications of predicted traffic congestion and weekly traffic congestion forecasts that encourage the use of different roads and transportation methods
3. Increase in number of vehicle stations
• Users will be able to rent and return vehicles at 17 new locations from October, an increase from the four currently in operation. These stations will be located near main train stations and major public facilities for added convenience.
4. Trials of Fee-based Sharing Service
• From October 1, a fee system will be introduced to the commercial feasibility of the sharing service. Fees will start at 200 yen (around £1.30) for the first 10 minutes and 20 yen (around £0.13) per minute thereafter.
5. Increase in number of Ha:mo members
• “Ha:mo” membership is projected to rise from 100 to 1,000 in October, improving the level of data being received from the trial.