Announced at the Combined Exhibition of Advanced Technologies (CEATEC) expo last week, Toyota said that the i-Road would be used as a part of the Ha:Mo car-sharing system in Japan. Weighing in at around 661 pounds, with a 28-mile-per-hour top speed and a two-passenger seating arrangement, the i-Road seems more like a fully enclosed scooter than a car, but it does offer a 30-mile driving range and has a nifty articulating front suspension that leans into corners. As for Ha:Mo, Toyota says that the number of cars in the program will increase from 10 prior to October 1 to 100 by the middle of this month, and the number of stations will almost double from 13 up to 21. Toyota has more details about the car and Ha:Mo in the press release posted below.
TMC to Exhibit 'Toyota i-Road' Personal Mobility Concept Car at CEATEC Japan 2013
Toyota City, Japan, September 26, 2013-Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announces that it will expand the "Ha:mo"1 optimized urban transport system undergoing operational trials in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture since October 2012. The expansion will take effect on October 1.
In addition, TMC will exhibit the "Toyota i-Road" personal mobility concept car, which is to be introduced for use in the Ha:mo system, at the Cutting-edge IT & Electronics Comprehensive Exhibition (CEATEC) Japan 2013 to be held at the Makuhari Messe international convention complex in Chiba City from October 1 to 5.
Ha:mo, a collective name, is an urban transport system designed to provide transport that is amenable to users, cities and society as a whole by optimally combining personal mobility vehicles such as automobiles with public transportation. The system comprises "Ha:mo Ride", a compact electric vehicle sharing service that meets the need for short-distance urban transport, and the provision of multi-modal routing information on optimal means of transportation taking into consideration both total carbon dioxide emissions and convenience according to current road conditions and public transportation operating status.
Ha:mo System Changes
1. Increase in number of ride-sharing vehicles
Forty-five additional Toyota Auto Body-produced "COMS" car-sharing electric vehicles will be added to the current fleet of 10 on October 1, and the total number of vehicles will be increased to 100 by mid-October2. In addition, vehicle access and operation will be made keyless.
Fifty-two Yamaha Motor "PAS" power-assisted bicycles will be added to the current fleet of 10 units on October 1, with plans calling for the fleet to expand to 100 units.
TMC will further develop the Toyota i-Road personal mobility concept car as a one-seater electric vehicle and introduce it for use in the Ha:mo system in around early 2014. With an ultra-compact package offering the convenience of a motorcycle and a new type of driving pleasure, the Toyota i-Road is expected to fulfill a wide range of user needs.
2. Increase in number of vehicle stations
The number of vehicle stations where users can rent and return vehicles will be increased in stages from the current total of four locations, adding 13 locations on October 1 and further increase to 21 locations by mid-October.
The new stations will be located near main train stations, major public facilities, commercial facilities and TMC offices in Toyota City where use by large numbers of commuters is expected. One-way use between vehicle stations, one of the key features of Ha:mo Ride that meets the needs of diverse users, will continue.
3. Trials of Fee-based Sharing Service
To verify the effectiveness and commercial feasibility of the sharing service, a use-based fee system will be introduced on October 1, with no membership or monthly charges. For the COMS, the fee will be 200 yen for the first 10 minutes of use and 20 yen for each additional minute thereafter.
A supply-and-demand fee system, including discounts for round trips, will be introduced in mid-November to improve the distribution of vehicles at certain stations. Use trends will be identified and the relationship between fee levels and use frequency will be investigated.
4. Greater convenience through provision of multi-mode route information
The addition of Ha:mo Ride service information to the multi-modal route guidance will enable the suggestion of new route options using Ha:mo Ride in cases where vehicle stations are located in the vicinity of the departure or destination.
Users will be able to make reservations to use Ha:mo Ride easily by accessing the Ha:mo Ride smart phone application from a linked icon on the route.
To increase the convenience of bus use, the system will be linked to a Hitachi, Ltd.-developed integrated bus operations management system to enable riders to easily access a list of the schedules and routes of multiple bus companies.
To enable the service to act as a regional traffic information portal, plans call for the addition of certain functions and information, such as push-type notifications of predicted traffic congestion along registered user routes as well as a route recommendation function and weekly traffic congestion forecasts that encourage the use of different roads and transportation methods.
5. Increase in number of Ha:mo members
In conjunction with the increase in vehicles and vehicle stations, the number of members is aimed to rise from the current approximate total of 100 to approximately 1,000. A one-month campaign (including a reduced base fee) will start on October 1 to promote the benefits of membership to a wide range of users.