Automakers will be playing a much different role in cities in the near future, according to Toyota. Manufacturing cars and marketing them through their dealer networks may take a backseat to smart transportation and mobility. See also: Daimler's Car2go.

Toyota's "Ha:mo" – Harmonious Mobility Network – will provide communities with service offerings designed to alleviate three big problems: traffic jams, CO2 emissions and energy consumption waste. It could also bring positive effects to local residents through new encounters, driving people to be more active and get out more.

Ha:mo will be delivered through two services – Ha:mo NAVI with route guidance and coordination of private and public transportation; and Ha:mo RIDE, a car sharing system using mini electric cars. Watch the video below to see anime characters riding transit and driving mini-EVs, with handheld smart devices and signage presented in both Japanese and English.

Ha:mo NAVI provides transportation route options – it's not just faster or cheaper, but lowers CO2 emissions based on traffic congestion. It suggests alternative routes when traffic is congested on the drive home. When bus overcrowding is expected, the system encourages bus operators to increase the number of routes.

Ha:mo RIDE is a mobility network for short distance trips in town. Drivers can book ride sharing reservations through their Ha:mo NAVI units. They can pick up one of the ultra-compact EVs at different locations. The tiny three-wheeler EV can park itself in tight spaces. A smart battery charging system will recharge batteries during off-peak hours to avoid tapping out the community's electricity supply.

The more people join Ha:mo, the more positive effects Ha:mo will have on the community, according to the video. It will reduce stress caused by traffic jams and rush hour, lower CO2 emissions and lessen energy consumption waste. Ha:mo will bring people many new encounters, and drive people to be more active and encourage them to get out more. It could be a point of pride for communities.

BMW is another automaker that has taken on its own smart transportation and mobility campaign, BMW Megacity Project. Forecasts say the world is heading toward overcrowded "megacities," and BMW is delivering electrified high-performance luxury cars with zero CO2 emissions. BMW's DriveNow car sharing program will also help put less cars on the road.

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