Toyota i-Road making headway in Europe and Japan

We wrote about Toyota's i-Road test project in Grenoble (see here ) and it was apparently quite the success as Toyota has launched ye...

We wrote about Toyota's i-Road test project in Grenoble (see here) and it was apparently quite the success as Toyota has launched yet another project with the concept vehicle, back home in Tokyo. Called 'The Open Road Project' the Japanese automaker has recruited "test pilots" for a 12-month period to test its avant-garde concept vehicle, which combines elements of a car and a motorbike. The i-Road vehicle is a prototype to explore new forms of urban mobility for the future, which also takes into consideration the user experience.

Throughout the duration of the project, Toyota is providing ten i-Road vehicles to be used by the 100 test pilots, made up of experts, trendsetters and just ordinary folks. The aim is to gather their feedback and continue to improve on the vehicle. We already think that, as it is, it's very cool, and even kind of cute:


The official website touts that it has the "convenience of a motorbike, and comfort and stability of a car". At 870mm wide, it certainly can squeeze into spaces that no car can. It moves like a bike even though it has two wheels at the front (and one at the rear), because the left and right front wheels can move and respond independently to the driver's steering ("It's just like skiing!").

Unlike a motorbike, though, its covered chassis means that the driver is protected from the elements - like he is in a car - and he doesn't even have to wear a helmet. The vehicle will maintain balance for stability, even on curves, slopes and uneven surfaces...like a car does.

And of course since it's an electric vehicle powered by lithium-ion batteries, there are zero CO2 emissions when driving, which is in keeping with sustainability strategies that the automotive industry has been focusing on in recent times (we shall not delve into the environmental criticisms about li-ion batteries in this article).

What do you think? Would you?


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