Toyota has introduced a three wheel electric vehicle concept at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. i-ROAD is is a personal mobility vehicle, with zero emissions, designed to offer a good flexibility in urban environment.
i-ROAD is a cross between a motorcycle and a very small electric vehicle. i-ROAD is safer, more comfortable, and offers better weather protection than a scooter or motorcycle. On the other hand, it has similar benefits as a two wheel vehicle like: low running costs, easy parking and around-town maneuverability.
It has room for two persons who can sit in tandem like riders on a motorcycle inside of an enclosed cockpit.
The enclosed body requires no helmet for the passengers, but the driver cannot stick his or her foot out to steady the vehicle when at rest. To solve this problem, i-ROAD comes equipped with a front-wheel setup that keeps it upright and no human help is needed.
The little innovative vehicle measures just 33.5 inches (81 cm) wide, 56.9 inches (144.5 cm) high, and 92.5 inches (235 cm) long.
The i-ROAD is front-wheel drive. No power goes to the rear wheel. Each front wheel features a 2 kW electric motor powered by a shared lithium-ion battery that enables a top speed of 28 mph. The little vehicle provides an enjoyable driving experience for up to 50 km on a single charge.
The three wheel vehicle has an intuitive technology named “Active Lean” which automatically balances the little vehicle with no input from the driver.
The system features a lean actuator motor and gearing mounted on both sides of the front suspension. Based on steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed, an engine control unit (ECU) calculates the amount of lean required to make a turn. When turning into a left-hand bend the right wheel pushes down while the left suspension compresses.
The i-ROAD system is also tuned to compensate for rough road surfaces.
Although for now i-ROAD is just a concept, the vehicle brings Toyota closer to its goal of creating the ultimate range of eco cars. What do you think about Toyota concept? Would you find suitable for you this kind of personal mobility vehicle?