By Steve & Tamami Laser; with Nahoko Osuka reporting from Japan
With the theme “Open Future” the 46th Tokyo Motor Show opened its doors to the press and consumers this week at the Tokyo Big Sight convention center (below). And while the show is filled with the latest cars, trucks, motorcycles, commercial vehicles and more, there’s something different this time.
The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is providing visitors with the chance to “see what mobility will look like and how it will be integrated into the urban living experience of the not-so-distant future.”
Let’s begin with the largest automaker in Japan, Toyota, and its luxury Lexus division. The image above shows what the highways around Tokyo might look like in the future when they’re filled with autonomous electric vehicles like the Toyota e-4me concept.
Toyota Mobility Theme Park
This year’s show goes beyond Tokyo Big Sight to encompass the surrounding Odaiba area with newly themed attractions including “Future Expo” at Mega Web and the Aomi Exhibition area, “Open Road” on the street, “Drive Park” in an enclosed lot, and more.
In this video, Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, said during the automaker’s press conference, “Our booth this time does not feature a single car ‘to be launched next year.’ All that is found here are forms of mobility that link to society and communities and that provide modes of getting around and services to people.” (video: Toyota)
Toyoda said that the electric e-Palette is scheduled to debut at next year’s Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020. The e-Palette is designed to be an autonomous mobility service. In the future, it could go beyond physical transport and offer space for an office, a shop, a hotel, or bring goods and services to homes.
With the theme “Mobility for All,” Toyota plans to bring a wide array of mobility choices to the Tokyo 2020 Games. The Tokyo Motor Show featured the latest versions of some of the BEV’s (battery electric vehicles) shown in this video. (video: Toyota)
Toyota plans to accelerate its drive for personal mobility with an array of compact BEVs in Japan. The rollout starts in winter 2020 with an Ultra-Compact two-seat BEV, and a Walking-Area Standing-Type BEV. In 2021, Toyota plans to follow up with a Seated-Type BEV, and a Wheelchair-Linked BEV (above).
This video highlights the Toyota e-4me, a single-seat autonomous electric mobility service that could allow consumers to spend their commuting time doing just about anything on the go. (video: Toyota)
Does a busy schedule mean there’s no time to visit the gym? No worries. Working out, for example, or exercising on the go, could be possible inside the single-passenger cabin of the e-4me.
Vans of all shapes and sizes remain incredibly popular in Japan. The Toyota e-Trans offers a look at a BEV future mobility vehicle designed for a ride-sharing service. It could also function as a delivery vehicle or perhaps be outfitted for camping.
The interior of the e-Trans is nicely finished and offers a futuristic look that includes a steering wheel. We find it interesting that the wheel is mounted on the left, which could mean that this dreamy van might one day make the journey to our neighborhood.
This video highlights the new e-Racer, a virtual roadster that Toyota describes as a sports car of the future. It includes an unexpected bonus: a virtual tailor that can create bespoke racing suits. (video: Toyota)
Wearing digital glasses, Toyota says that visitors to the show can enjoy a virtual drive on the racing course of their choice (it looks like Goodwood above), while also customize seating to fit their individual needs.
Toyota also introduced the LQ, a next generation version of the Concept-i that was displayed at the last Tokyo Motor Show. In this video, Gill Pratt, CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, talks about LQ development and its automated driving capabilities. (video: Toyota)
The futuristic interior has changed from the Concept-i by adding a traditional steering wheel and other features that make the LQ look ready for the road.
New Toyota Mirai
The new Mirai Concept, called a final-stage development model, transports Toyota’s fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) to the next generation. It’s designed to offer greater driving range, improved performance, and a completely new, sporty design inside and out.
Based on Toyota’s premium rear-drive TNGA platform, the Mirai Concept offers increased room for passengers, along with a new 12.3-inch display screen.
Toyota has sold about 10,000 units of the first-generation Mirai in its efforts to help pave the way toward a hydrogen society and the benefits of reduced emissions and diversified energy sources. The new Mirai, planned for launch in Japan late next year, targets a 30 percent increase in driving range plus the ability to transport five passengers in luxury.
While Lexus announced that it plans to unveil its first BEV next month, the new LF-30 Electrified that made its debut in Tokyo is a forward-looking concept. And what an amazing-looking car it is.
Lexus says that the LF-30 Electrified embodies the vision of its product electrification and employs advanced technologies with a look ahead to the year 2030.
This video highlights Lexus Posture Control in the LF-30 concept. The technology is said to regulate the drive-power output from the high-torque electric motors to adjust vehicle posture “in tune with human sensibilities.” (video: Lexus)
The LF-30 Electrified is powered by in-wheel electric motors with a body design that allows them to be pushed out to the corners of the car. Without the need for a traditional hood, the BEV offers a new look for the Lexus signature spindle. Huge gull-wing style doors make it easy to enter the front and rear seats.
The cockpit features next-generation interfaces, such as gesture control, and enhanced presentation of vehicle information through augmented reality (AR). The glass roof above the rear seats includes a “SkyGate” display window that uses AR to display information. LF-30 also includes “Lexus Airporter” drone support that could be used to transport luggage from a home doorstep to the car, for example.
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News source, photos (as noted) and videos courtesy Toyota Motor Corp., Lexus International, and the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA)
Story (text) © 2019 CarNichiWa.com