May. 07, 2015
Call for Creativity in Toyota i-Road R&D Project in Tokyo
Tokyo, Japan, May 7, 2015―In July, Toyota will take the next step toward realizing the full potential of the i-Road ultra-compact EV concept by launching the Open Road Project in Tokyo. To encourage the practical, convenient and fun use of the i-Road on city streets, Toyota will seek creative input and feedback from both specialist companies and members of the public focusing on two key areas: finding convenient parking and encouraging customization.
Two key strengths of the i-Road are its compact size and its ability to be charged from a standard 100V electrical outlet. By working with parking lot operators and commercial property owners in central Tokyo, Toyota will capitalize on these strengths by identifying small, unused spaces with access to plug sockets that could be utilized for i-Road parking and charging. Feedback will be collected for analysis on how to expand the parking and charging network.
Toyota aims to make the i-Road a thoroughly unique personal mobility experience by supporting the use of custom parts. Project participants will be able to express themselves by 3D-printing body parts with colors and surface designs of their choosing.
Toyota will provide 10 i-Road vehicles to a total of 100 participants—from ordinary members of the public to experts and trendsetters—for roughly a month each. Overall, the project will run for approximately a year.
Project partners will provide feedback to help Toyota improve the practicality and usability of the i-Road. This will include opinions on how the vehicle might be modified or made more viable for production.
Through these consumer trials, Toyota aims to study the best ways to develop products and services that will build on the key strengths of the i-Road and open up exciting new possibilities for mobility. Rather than limiting participation to pre-selected partners, mid-project entry and the addition of new potential products and services will be actively encouraged with a view to enhancing the product appeal of the i-Road.
Applications for participation in consumer trials open today at the Open Road Project website (http://www.openroad-project.com/ [Japanese only]). Participants will be selected according to a number of criteria, such as how frequently they plan to use the i-Road.