Ha:mo service in Grenoble, France
A next-generation urban traffic system verification project has started in Grenoble, France. This initiative is forging a new style of mobility that couples the merits of ultra-compact electronic vehicles (EVs) with cars and public transportation. This smart transport is finding fans in Grenoble as a way of getting from one place to another in an environmentally friendly that also reduces traffic congestion.
The Discovery Channel visited Grenoble to report on the verification project. The resulting story offered a glimpse of the future of urban transport that is both more environmental and convenient. The report highlighted the fun of driving the Toyota i-Road, the voice of city residents who regularly use the service, and the thoughts of the people behind the project.
A reporter gets behind the wheel and tells the world of the sheer joy of the Toyota i-Road.
Together with several partners, Toyota is participating in a three-year car sharing verification project using ultra-compact EV's in the city of Grenoble, France.
The aim is to make urban mobility much smoother and to alleviate traffic congestion.
Due to future increases in population, new mobility systems will become necessary.
The diversification of mobility methods is a factor in easing traffic congestion, and this is seen as contributing to the realization of a low carbon society.
Toyota is engaged in this project with Grenoble City and EPCs and has provided 70 ultra-compact EVs including i-ROADs. It has also developed a last-mile-mobility management system and smartphone apps. The EVs and systems are supported with Toyota's latest technology.
To ensure easy and convenient services this project offers two smartphone apps for optimal route selection and vehicle reservation.
A smartphone app will provide the optimal route guidance through a combination of private cars, public transport and last-mile mobility.
The service provides two choices of ultra-compact EV's (i-ROAD and COMS) for mobility to the final destination.
The smartphone app enables users to access information concerning vehicle availability, reservations and vehicle charging status.
Grenoble, located in the south east of France, is about 3 hours from Paris by train. The city is nestled at the base of the French Alps and has a population of about 150,000. (The population of the larger metropolitan area is approximately 400,000.)
This beautiful city, which hosted the Winter Olympics in 1968 and is a popular destination for winter sports, is also known for its advanced level of learning and its research institutes.
On September 12, 2014 at a ceremony in Grenoble, France, Toyota and its partners announced that tests of the Toyota i-ROAD three-wheeler, ultra-compact electric vehicle would start in the city on October 1st.
Speaking to the assembled media, Toyota Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada gave a simple explanation for Toyota's involvement in the project: "Toyota is constantly seeking new forms of mobility to change the amazement of today into the commonplace of tomorrow." He went on to say, "The urban transportation sector is a new growth arena for the future of Toyota".
Next Generation Urban Traffic System
The i-ROAD was developed to be used for a portion of the journey—last-mile mobility—in the Next Generation Urban Traffic and Multi-modal Navigation System. Analyzing traffic conditions, the system combines driving with user's own car, public transit and last-mile mobility to deliver the most efficient route to a user's smartphone. With this system, Toyota can help reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases, making our cities better places to live.
Note: Toyota multimodal navigation not available in the Grenoble Verification Project
Allocation of parking spaces for the car-sharing system.
Connection to the Station Mobile trip planner.
Customer relationship management and daily vehicle and charger maintenance.
Planning, installation and operation of the Charging stations (120 in 27 locations) across the Grenoble-Alpes Métropole.
A total of 70 ultra-compact EVs will be provided (35 COMS and 35 i-ROAD units), and provision of the Last-Mile Mobility Management System to manage the interconnectivity between users, vehicles, charging stations and the web-based Station Mobile trip planner.
The i-ROAD is a new concept in mobility eminently suited to city movement, adding vivid color to urban areas. The automatic active lean mechanism provides a unique new driving experience. Vehicle and driver move as one in an exhilarating ski-like motion making this a pleasant and refreshing way of enjoying a drive!
In a city famed for winter sports, the i-ROAD's automatic active lean mechanism produces a ski-like driving motion for smooth cornering with outstanding stability on bumpy surfaces. The vehicle and driver move as one, cutting swiftly through the air in an exhilarating motion.
Toyota envisions a Smart Mobility Society that contributes to reduced carbon emissions, and is working to achieve this goal in four key sectors.
Toyota uses new technologies and concepts to link people, vehicles and communities, thereby creating a mobility society that is vastly more eco-friendly and enjoyable.
Toyota's vision is progressively coming together and getting closer to becoming a reality.
In the mission to supply urban users with greater mobility, we are moving beyond the sphere of mere product development. In this initiative, the scope of the work has been expanded to perfection of an all-new mobility experience, envisioned to bring innovative new services onboard as well.
Toward that end, the planning, development and other phases of the project have not been limited to the in-house resources of Toyota alone.
A "Next Generation Urban Traffic System" verification project is underway in Toyota City, Japan. In March 2014, Toyota i-ROADs ran on public roads for the first time ever. The residents enjoyed this new sensation of moving in unity with the EV.
Starting in April 2015, the Toyota i-Road will be darting about Tokyo as part of an innovative EV sharing service program. The ecological, comfortable, and stylish i-Road promises to bring both new freedom and fun to drivers in the metropolis.