Phase 9 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots Take to the Roadways!

Test Drive Pilots

Kicked off in July 2015, "OPEN ROAD PROJECT Stage 1" extended over the following year,
with Test Drive Pilots championing a rich range of driving challenges.
Then, "Stage 2" of the project, positioned to zero in on even more practical approaches, has now gotten off the ground.
Stage 2 carries on the format of having Test Drive Pilots maneuver the i-ROAD,
with a training session for the Phase 9 group held recently to get the effort rolling.
Kicked off in July 2015, "OPEN ROAD PROJECT Stage 1" extended over the following year, with Test Drive Pilots championing a rich range of driving challenges. Then, "Stage 2" of the project, positioned to zero in on even more practical approaches, has now gotten off the ground. Stage 2 carries on the format of having Test Drive Pilots maneuver the i-ROAD, with a training session for the Phase 9 group held recently to get the effort rolling.

This September, in the midst of steady rainfall, the selected Phase 9 Test Drive Pilots gathered for their instructional session at the Toyota Tokyo Design Research Laboratory in the Tokyo suburb of Hachioji.

 

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After a briefing to further acquaint them with the project, the Pilots eagerly climbing into their i-Road units. Snuggling in behind the wheel, exclamations of surprise were soon heard in reaction to the unique and special driving sensation being experienced for the very first time. With this, the test course was steadily enveloped in a bright and upbeat atmosphere, with any concern about the persistent rain rapidly cast to the wind.

 

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As a new experiment adopted from Phase 9, the Test Drive Pilots are rising to the challenge of "sharing" – namely, joint use of i-ROAD units by a multiple number of Pilots. Also introduced from this latest group has been a service that envisions sharing of electric charge sockets.
With the conclusion of the training session, the Pilots were set to begin their test-driving adventures for real. In each phase of Stage 1 of the OPEN ROAD PROJECT, the Test Drive Pilots provided valuable reports spanning a broad range of discoveries. With the Phase 9 Pilots now taking to the roads, it will be exciting to see what new insights this new batch of drivers comes up with during their time with the i-ROAD.

PHOTOGRAPHS BY Yuta Nishida

ISSUED : 23 September 2016