You might remember something similar to the i-Road shown as a Toyota concept at the 43rd Tokyo Motor Show last year, but the i-Road model going on trial has been modified with features to increase drivability and is now available in five spunky colors. Undeniable spunkiness aside, the i-Road solves a critical dilemma of automakers who want to offer buyers zero-emissions mobility while circumventing the bulkiness and high cost issues of four-wheeled EVs.Like a motorbike, the i-Road utilizes a gyroscope and allows the driver to lean into turns while offering the comfort and stability of a car. Unlike a motorcycle, however, the vehicle won’t get much faster than 38 mph, which makes it best for those who need to get around more efficiently in an urban environment.
The trial is also experimenting with the revolutionary Ha:mo system, which combines GPS and an itinerary calculator to evaluate the most efficient way of traveling to your destination using an eco-friendly and time-sensitive combination of the i-Road, rental bikes, public transportation, and legs. The Ha:mo is not just created for the benefit of the driver, but for the benefit of the city itself. Efforts to incorporate walking and public transportation are a part of the Toyota effort to strive towards a low-carbon urban society equipped with advanced technological mobility.
If you want a detailed breakdown on the i-Road specs and technology, you can find it here. However, we’ve provided a stripped-down version of the details below:
- The i-Road seats two passengers (in tandem to keep body narrow)
- The i-Road has a fully enclosed body that protects rider and driver from the elements.
- The i-Road does not require a helmet because it is fully enclosed.
- The i-Road stays upright when at rest because of a trick front-wheel setup.
- The i-Road is steered using a “squircle”-shaped steering wheel.
- The i-Road has front-wheel drive and gets no power from the rear wheel.
- The i-Road lithium-iron battery claims to last for 30 miles.
- The i-Road lithium iron battery top-offs take three hours (but Toyota doesn’t indicate whether this is on Janpanese, European, or U.S. power standards.)
- The i-Road price has not been announced or estimated. Neither has when and where the vehicle will be for sale.