Toyota has just now started testing a two-wheeled Segway-like vehicle that it first trumpeted almost five years ago, but when the vehicle in question tops out at less then four miles per hour, these things do take time. Toyota's Winglet, which the Japanese automaker first announced to the world in August 2008, has started public trials on the streets of Tsukuba, Japan, as the company looks to get more information on the stand-up vehicles safety and maneuverability.

The Winglet, Toyota says, is an illustration of the "development of a society where mobility is safe, freely accessible, and fun." Tsukuba, which is 40 miles northeast of Tokyo (or, theoretically, about 12 hours by Winglet), is apropos because of its position as an "environmental model city." The vehicle, which is said to have a single-charge range of about six miles and can be recharged in about an hour, is being tested on public sidewalks. So watch out, brave citizens of Tsukuba.

Meanwhile, read Toyota's press release and check out footage of them in full flight by scrolling below.
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Public Sidewalk Trials of Toyota Personal Mobility Robot to Start in Japan

The City of Tsukuba (Tsukuba) in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan and Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) are to begin public sidewalk demonstration trials tomorrow of the "Winglet", a TMC-developed personal transport assistance robot ridden in a standing position. The trials, to be conducted in the Tsukuba Mobility Robot Experimental Zone, are the first for the Winglet on a public thoroughfare.

The Winglet, created with the aim of contributing to the development of a society where mobility is safe, freely accessible, and fun, is a next-generation mobility robot that offers users outstanding operability and performance that expands the user's world, with a compact size and ease of use suited to modern living environments.

The trials, scheduled to run until the end of March 2016*, are aimed to verify the safety, functionality and convenience of the Winglet so it can be used on public sidewalks in the future. This year, emphasis will be placed on verifying safety, and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) personnel and Tsukuba municipal employees will assess operational safety and compatibility with pedestrians and other traffic by using the Winglet on sidewalks to commute to and from work and when going out during working hours. From 2014 onward, assessment will focus on aspects of functionality and convenience, including prospective demand and contribution to supporting public mobility, invigorating local communities and improving the environment.

Tsukuba is designated as the Tsukuba Mobility Robot Experimental Zone, and Japan's first personal mobility robot testing on public sidewalks has been conducted there since June 2011, with more than 7,000 km of travel logged to date. With the start of the Winglet trials, TMC hopes to contribute to the development of Japan's personal assistance robot industry and the realization of mobility-robot use on public thoroughfares. In light of its designation as an International Strategic Zone and as an environmental model city, Tsukuba is promoting innovation for the creation of a low-carbon society. TMC and Tsukuba believe that the Winglet trials will be highly significant in the development of mobility-robot-using communities with low environmental impact.

Overview of 2013 Winglet Trials
Equipment Winglet Long Type, 8 units
Trial period July 24, 2013-March 31, 2014
Participants
A total of approximately 80 personnel and Tsukuba municipal employees
National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology
*Unless otherwise noted, years mentioned are from April 1 to March 31.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 67 Comments
      3ziko
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ride Winglet in the streets and then go run on a treadmill at the gym to lose weight...
      BlackandMild
      • 1 Year Ago
      Oh God, Hopefully there won't be any cases of sudden acceleration with these too- That would be disastrous!
      See_YouR_Chin
      • 1 Year Ago
      OK i live in BK and i live exactly 11 blocks from the closes grocery store and i work in Manhattan and there's not a single fresh fruit store within 5 LONG blocks. Dude tell me one good grocery store in Midtown.
      Rochester
      • 1 Year Ago
      Not to mess with Toyota's marketing genius, but aren't "winglets" the little tabs on the outside of menstrual pads? When I saw the word "winglet", I sure didn't think Mobility Scooter.
        Hek!
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Rochester
        They're also little fins that stick up on the ends of airplane wings. As a matter of a fact "winglet" can be used for any small wing-like structure.
      Free Time
      • 1 Year Ago
      How many of you actually commute to work by train, bike, foot, skateboard? I do all four and I would welcome a device like this. Something small and compact that I can carry around and then use to get from home to work ( I live approx. 5mi from work). 4mph is just a little faster than the average walking speed, seems a bit slow, 6-10mph seems ideal. I realize that I'm probably in the minority of people that walk to work on this forum (as this is a car forum) so the market may not be large enough but for those of us that do maybe this will be beneficial.
        See_YouR_Chin
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Free Time
        I walk 10 from subway and on a cold winter day i'd love nothing more than getting there as soon as possible.
        bluepongo1
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Free Time
        If you get one will your family have more @ Free Time ? * drum & rimshot *
        RudyH
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Free Time
        As you pack on the lbs and have a larger frame from lack of cardio exercise you are no longer getting, the Winglet will have to do more work to compensate for increased weight and poor aerodynamics. Enjoy the walk, it will add years to your life
          Free Time
          • 1 Year Ago
          @RudyH
          In addition to walking, biking, or skateboarding up to 10 miles every day, I also do an hour in the gym 5 times a week and that's not including my weekend sports. My commute has nothing to do with exercise, I'm already an active person.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Free Time
        I walk every day to work. Downstairs to my office in the morning and up the stairs when I'm done. And for years I did walk every day (about 1.5 miles) and I actually looked forward to it. I dreaded the rain because it meant I had to take the bus.
        Free Time
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Free Time
        Spoke a little soon. Watched the video, it may not be portable enough. The picture above shows a compact version while the video seems to show a fixed height version.
      Foosa Dee Cat
      • 1 Year Ago
      I can understand if you're disabled, Or have a broken leg, Or just plain missing a leg, Then this device is truly a godsend. However if you have to perfectly good legs Then use them it's called walking. Walking is actually very good for you not to mention it's free.
        Cayman
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Foosa Dee Cat
        But even in those cases, how would this be helpful? I imagine in most of those cases its going to be very difficult to stand on this thing. They already have a device for those people, a wheelchair or a scooter.
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Like Segway, these little mobility devices would appear to offer little more than novelty value. However, what does amaze me is the puritanical urge by so many commentators to offer sanctimonious criticism. What motivates people to condemn the life style of others, always baffles me ! It's a great pity those posting Indignant remarks about people not exercising, or moralistic self-praise about their own exercise regimes, don't spend a little more time caring about the real social tragedies, they hurry past by every day. I believe a little more compassion and understanding, would accomplish a lot more good for society in general than finger-wagging moral posturing.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Are you looking for something to try to tod do on the weekend or your next holiday with family and friends ? we have a great range of leisure activities such as Segway Golf - It's an Australian first, Segway All-Terrain adventure Tours.
      rollingrock11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Funny but true fact - the CEO of Segway ran off a cliff while on a Segway and died.
        j
        • 1 Year Ago
        @rollingrock11
        I looked at this products height immediately (and noticed it appears to have a much lower center of gravity) due to this sad fact. Not sure why it would be characterized as funny though? Visually this appears less likely to be able to rotate around any axis and lose traction - hopefully it has an accelerometer for emergency lock up and stops also.
      Timothy Tibbetts
      • 1 Year Ago
      Rather have a solowheel
      See_YouR_Chin
      • 1 Year Ago
      So train always has a station next to your house, always goes straight to the grocery store and you NEVER ever have to wait 30 minutes for it to come.
      RomanM
      • 1 Year Ago
      6kph? Is that a joke?
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