The i-ROAD mobility car is a breakthrough vehicle developed by Toyota with the vision of bringing greater freedom and latitude to maneuvering about cities. In combination with Test Drive Pilots solicited from the general public, this vehicle comprises a unique push aimed at helping pave the way to greater future mobility with the megalopolis of Tokyo as the staging ground.
The Test Drive Pilots in Phase 3 of this project took time from their busy daily schedules to take advantage of the i-ROAD as an alternative means of going on extended strolls, hanging out with persons from other countries in front of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building and engaging in other activities that yielded an impressive range of discoveries, reports and other precious information. Following in their footsteps, a special training session was held for Phase 4 Test Drive Pilots getting ready to carry on this unique mobility project.
On November 14, the latest crop of Test Drive Pilots assembled at the Toyota Tokyo Design Research Laboratory in the Hachioji district of Tokyo. The group represented a wide array of occupations, interests and tastes, with some also showing up as family groups.
Regrettably, the weather failed to cooperate, with the session proceeding in the midst of a prolonged drizzle. The agenda included explanations of how to actually operate the i-ROAD, parking applications and other basic know-how, followed by the initial boarding of the vehicle. Once they began to maneuver around, the Test Pilots could be heard exclaiming about the tremendous uniqueness of this new concept car.
Under a light rain, Test Drive Pilots switched on the wipers and began to operate their i-ROAD units. Covered in raindrops, the body colors sparkled even brighter than normal.
The Test Drive Pilots savored the “lean” effect generated when accelerating and other unique and exhilarating driving sensations for the very first time. Though operating on wet pavement that day, the three wheels firmly gripped the surface, with our Pilots reporting no trace of instability on the road.
Familiarizing themselves with the distinctive touch of rear-wheel steering, the Pilots worked to master i-ROAD parking techniques.
After negotiating the oval run on the course, trying their hands at parallel parking and other practice maneuvers, the Pilots next took their units out for spins on the general roadways for the first time. The curtain has risen on the i-ROAD experiences for Phase 4 Test Drive Pilots. Their run is scheduled to continue for around one month from the kickoff date of November 21
We’re gearing up to supply a steady series of reports on the details, new insights discovered by these Pilots and other information certain to emerge within the next phase of this project.
Test Drive Pilot Recruitment Continues
For your information, the recruiting of Test Drive Pilots will be continued through the summer of 2016, spanning eight separate phases in all.
During this period as well, Pilot applications may be made at the “Test Drive Pilot” website.
Combining the knowledge and impressions of Toyota as the manufacturer and consumers as the drivers, the mission is being sustained and enhanced to amass a new collective wisdom.
Please consider joining this exciting new project – an innovative endeavor sourced from the personal experiences of each individual participant.
ISSUED ： 26 November 2015