Test Drive Pilots | 2016.1.21

Phase 5 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots Take to the Roadways!

Phase 5 of this Test Drive project kicked off from December 26. Though only about a month has gone by since the test-driving period began, and the Test Pilots also passed the hectic New Year’s season in their i-ROAD loaners, they have furnished a steady stream of precious feedback on their experiences and impressions. “Getting out and about has become a genuine joy!” This sentiment is spot-on with the feelings voiced by our Test Drive Pilots over all four phases to date. Once again, in fact, the Pilots report that they are taking the i-ROAD down numerous different avenues into a wide variety of urban neighborhoods. Wherever they venture, however, one thing seems to remain the same: They are magnets of keen attention and interest, while serving as the regular targets of cellphone snapshots and other impromptu photographing. In Phase 5 of this project, the “ROAD KITCHEN” prototype, an effort conceived to design original parts with 3D printers, has emerged in an even more progressive version. Particularly impressive are the specific design characteristics, which unfold in even more eye-catching dimensions than the previous version. Presented with this option, just what configurations have our Test Drive Pilots chosen to further spruce up their trusty i-ROAD cars? Test Drive Pilot Recruitment Continues Spanning a total of eight phases in all, recruiting of Test Drive Pilots will be carried on through the summer of 2016. Pilot applications may continue to be submitted from this“Test Drive Pilot” website. On this occasion, please consider becoming a part of this distinctive new project – an innovative endeavor created from the unique experiences of each individual participant. Test Drive Pilot Recruitment Continues Spanning a total of eight phases in all, recruiting of Test Drive Pilots will be carried on through the summer of 2016. Pilot applications may continue to be submitted from this “Test Drive Pilot” website. On this occasion, please consider becoming a part of this distinctive new project – an innovative endeavor created from the unique experiences of each individual participant. ISSUED : 21 January 2016

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Test Drive Pilots | 2015.12.7

The i-Road as a Key for Expanding New Ideas and Approaches to Pet Companionship

Chatting at a “pet-friendly” outdoor sidewalk cafe. From the left, Mr. Nakajima and his miniature dachshund “Marron”; and Mr. Miyamoto and his cairn terrier “Filly.” Mobilizing the i-Road to Share New Experiences with Pets Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Nakajima are two avid dog lovers who enjoy taking their pets along for drives. Both stuck to this practice during their stints as Phase 3 i-Road Test Drive Pilots as well, putting their dear pets in the backseat for spins around town in this unique new concept car. For these Pilots, who described their dogs as “dear family members,” spending as much time as possible with these precious partners is a perfectly natural part of everyday life. With the i-Road suddenly emerging to play a focal role in their routines, these devoted dog owners said that the car definitely added a new dimension to their regular activities. Comments from Mr. Miyamoto: “During the i-Road test drive period, Filly and I ventured out together to various different destinations. One obvious example was the dog run facility at Komazawa Park, about five kilometers from our home. While making that trip by power-assisted bicycle is a bit of a strain, I also figured going to all the trouble of driving there by my regular car was also too much. As a result, I ended up rarely taking Filly for exercise there at all. Having the i-Road really made it a snap to shoot over to the park and the run – a great deal for both of us!” Mr. Nakajima: “I took Marron to my regular beauty salon. The beauticians there had always encouraged me to bring my dog along, and I had really wanted to take them up on that offer. But with the salon located in a spot inconvenient for regular parking, I never got around it. The i-Road changed that overnight. It became possible to park in niche spaces only large enough to hold motorcycles, and I was able to take Marron along for the very first time.” For both Mr. Miyamoto and Mr. Nakajima, motoring around in the i-Road made it far easier to bring their dogs along on brief jaunts to locations where they had been reluctant to park before. That, they reported, definitely enhanced the sense of freedom and choice in their lifestyle patterns.   Mr. Miyamoto told us he has been around dogs for as long as he can remember. Now working out of his home, he has reportedly shared the last 12 years of his life with Filly – from arising in the morning to hitting the sack each night. He added that he always takes Filly along on overnight trips as well. What did the Dogs Feel about the i-Road? Both these pet owners thought nothing of taking their dogs out on drives in the i-Road. The question remains, however, of how the pooches themselves found those rides. Not to worry – our Test Pilots reported that their pets found the experience “great fun.” Mr. Miyamoto: “When the i-Road was delivered to my home, I was worried that Filly might be scared or intimidated by such an unknown machine. Such worries turned out to be totally groundless, with Filly burning with curiosity about the new arrival. We ended up taking frequent rides together in the i-Road throughout the test drive period. Even when going out for walks around the neighborhood, Filly would pull me over toward the car (thinking we were taking off for another spin). When riding in the passenger-side or backseat of a regular car, Filly has been prone to slip sideways due to the centrifugal force going around curves. The i-Road made it easier for her to lean to one side or the other, enabling Filly to remain sitting up without sliding about. Based on that, I’d say tooling around in the i-Road is pretty comfortable for dogs too!” Mr. Nakajima: “The i-Road definitely delivers a sustained sense of stability on the road. For dogs, that may very well give them the gratifying sensation of sprinting along with no need to actually run on their own legs!” Mr. Miyamoto: “It is true that the outstanding performance of today’s cars ensures quiet ride with little vibration and shaking out on the road. For that matter, closing the windows and switching on the air-conditioner produces an atmosphere pretty much the same as being at home indoors. Compared to that, the i-Road impressed me with its ability to convey the essential fun and excitement of really driving a motor vehicle.” If these comments are any indication, taking the i-Road out on the road adds an enjoyable new accent to everyday lifestyle routines for canines as well! Mr. Nakajima mentioned that he also used his i-Road for commuting. After coming home from work, having the i-Road on hand also reportedly increased the occasions that he took Marron along on outings to cafes or hamburger shops.  A Little Extra Effort for Dog-Friendlier Space What’s more, these two Test Pilots also came up with ideas about how to make the i-Road cabin appointments even more enjoyable and friendly for canines onboard. Mr. Miyamoto: “At first, I put Filly on the rear luggage rack. But she preferred to get down on the floor to gaze outside through the clear window at the bottom of the door. Seeing that, I put some cushions on the rack to raise the height of her sitting position. That enabled her to gaze outside the window at the same eye level as the driver.” Mr. Nakajima: “I did much the same thing, raising Marron’s seat by laying a blanket on the luggage rack. That made it possible for him to glimpse over to the driver’s seat as well, which was excellent because I could always check out his expression and see how he was doing.” Mr. Miyamoto: “Raising your pet’s seating position would also be nice because you could then open the window and allow them to be refreshed by the incoming breeze. Up to now, Filly has also seemed to enjoy riding in the carrying case on my power-assisted bicycle. Based on that, I would imagine that motoring around in the i-Road would put her and other dogs in much the same enjoyable state of mind.” With both of these dog-lover Test Pilots concerned about making their time on the road more enjoyable for their pets, they seem to have come up with the same basic idea largely by chance. Another key concern for such drivers appears to be the degree to which they can effectively narrow the sense of distance between themselves (in the driver’s seat) and their dogs (in the rear or elsewhere). Both men seemed quite delighted with the i-Road: “This is a cute little car that I’d really like to always have by my side” (Mr. Miyamoto). “It made both commuting and outings with Marron more hassle-free and pleasant” (Mr. Nakajima). How About a “Little Something Extra” to Make Dog Outings Even More Fun and Trouble-Free? Going a step further, these two Pilots, who have typically taken their dogs along on a rich range of errands and outings, kindly proposed possible “tools” for rendering such experiences even more fun and convenient. Mr. Nakajima: “It would nice to have a hook somewhere in the cabin to attach the lead, for use when making stops along the way and preparing to take your dog out of the car.” Mr. Miyamoto: “I agree, a hook somewhere for the leash handle would be nice. Besides that, I also thought that a soft carrying case would come in handy. You could use it to have your dog sit up higher on the luggage rack, and then take it outside in the case without worrying about the leash or any other extra work.”   The drivers concurred that the i-Road made it far easier to take their dogs along to places where such outings have proved tough in the past. In that and other ways, the i-Road clearly added new scenes to their dog-friendly lifestyles, leading to more fun and discoveries for the Test Pilots and their adored pets alike. “The i-ROAD definitely aroused the desire to take my dog along to more and more destinations!” Behind such comments by both these dog lovers was the apparent success of the i-Road in triggering numerous hints for new ways to savor life more fully with their pets. The i-ROAD Test Drive Pilot recruiting continues. We heartily encourage anyone interested in the Open Road Project to join in this innovative new quest for mobility!   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.   ・“Test Drive Pilots Impression Talk” Back issues  “Test Drive Pilot Impression Talk 01” (Phase 1: Mr. Tashiro)  “Test Drive Pilot Impression Talk 02” (Phase 1: Mr. Hashimoto)  “Test Drive Pilot Impression Talk 03” (Phase 2: Mr. Yamane) INTERVIEW BY Keita Fukasawa (contributor) TEXT BY Yoko Sueyoshi (contributor) PHOTOGRAPHS BY Eiji Fukasaku ISSUED : 7 December 2015    

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Test Drive Pilots | 2015.11.26

Phase 4 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots Get Out on the Road!

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  

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Test Drive Pilots | 2015.11.20

Ideas from Each Participant Help Spur the i-ROAD to Further Evolution

  Motoring Sensations of the i-ROAD – Unique from all Other Vehicles Among all our Phase 2 Pilots, Mr. Yamane was the hands-down top “distance driver,” logging an impressive 514 kilometers in his i-ROAD during the month. He posted images and reports of his high riding times on an SNS website used by the pilot group, winning keen attention for that track record. Mr. Yamane, however, a true dyed-in-the-wool car buff, actually embraced no particularly high hopes for this project before actually boarding an i-ROAD. At the Phase 2 Test Drive Pilot training session, photographing the i-ROAD with a camera equipped with a gimbal (special hand shake prevention tool). “I first learned about the i-ROAD from an announcement for a special test drive event of WXD staged this May by WIRED magazine. I’ve been interested in cars and motorcycles since I was a kid, and actually ride a heavy-duty motorcycle as part of my everyday routine now. Therefore, I was excited by the prospects of an opportunity to get to know the i-ROAD, vigorously promoted as a groundbreaking new means of transportation, prior to its actual marketing, and applied to participate. Before I began the test period, convinced that the i-ROAD would be pretty much the same as the 3-wheeler cars developed by other automakers up to now, I figured I knew what the driving sensation would be like. When I actually got behind the wheel, though, my impression changed dramatically. First off, just the opposite of motorcycles, the car is engineered with rear-wheel-drive, generating a truly fresh new sensation during tight turns, leaning and other maneuvers. During the talk session at the event in May, my curiosity was truly aroused by a comment from the i-ROAD development coordinator (Akihiro Yanaka, Sports Vehicle Management Div. of Toyota Motor) to the effect that the car would never tip over.” With that acting as the trigger, following the promotional event Mr. Yamane wasted no time in applying to become part of the Test Drive program. After succeeding in being selected as one of the Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots, he purchased a gimbal, a special camera shake prevention tool to help take more beautiful shots of the i-ROAD in action. After that and other thorough preparations, Mr. Yamane began his test-driving adventure. Shooting Videos, Discovering New Routes ~ Drawing the Most Out of the i-ROAD’s Appeal “Besides a handheld camera, I decided I also wanted to use GoPro for SNS uploading of scenes of me shooting videos of the i-ROAD. Being given this great opportunity to drive the car, I also wanted to enjoy myself the most I could. When I actually gave that a try, I was pleasantly surprised to find that the smooth movement of the car’s body makes it fairly easy to shoot videos without any blurring.” Meticulously prepared in this way, Mr. Yamane made up his mind to truly enjoy the test period to the hilt. He drove the i-ROAD from his home in Oimachi to an event held at the Funabashi Auto Race track about 30 kilometers away, tried his hand at cruising around Haneda Airport and took on other challenges as well. “When I let myself worry about whether or not the battery would hold its charge all the way to the Funabashi race track, it proved a bit tough to get into an adventurous state of mind. However, figuring it would be a waste not to take advantage of this rare chance, I decided to give it a try. While I charged the battery on the way to the track, on the return trip I found there was no particular need to charge it up again. I also recommend Haneda Airport as a drive destination. The route around the perimeter of the terminal is full of big curves, with the light traffic there during the nighttime making it a nice stretch for use in learning how to apply the brakes on curbs and slopes and otherwise appreciate the distinguishing characteristics of the i-ROAD. I certainly hope upcoming Test Drive Pilots will also give such stretches a run. A photo uploaded by Mr. Namba, another one of the Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots. “A simple do-it-yourself trick. When you yearn to drive with the window half or one-quarter open, just stick one of these suction cups onto the glass.” Fascination of Seeing the Project Evolve on the Strength of Personal Ideas Mr. Yamane also reports that he came away with a profound impression of his drives on narrow roads that only the i-ROAD can negotiate. “I set out with the idea of using a ‘Tomehodai’ (park as much as you like, a service offering fixed-rate parking at some 200 spots in Tokyo’s Minato and Shibuya wards) lot in Shibuya, and found the road there extremely narrow. The particular lot is located in a place where regular cars simply cannot go. Even with a motorcycle, coming to a dead end would make it quite tough to back up and turn around. The design of the i-ROAD is just what’s needed to cruise around and park there with no hassles. Driving in Tokyo in a regular car can lead to all sorts of troubles – the high odds of getting caught in traffic jams, difficulties in parking and more. Compared to that, the i-ROAD is built at a size just right in so many ways.” Besides the fun when driving, Mr. Yamane also mentioned how the vigorous postings on SNS by his fellow Test Drive Pilots were quite interesting as well. “When I first joined the project, I imagined that the grasp of the experience would probably only be sufficient to prompt drivers to summarize their impressions of the car at the end of the one-month test drive period. As it turned out, I was very surprised at how brisk the exchanges between the Test Drive Pilots grew. For example, one of pilots, Mr. Namba, wanted to keep the air flowing into the car while driving. To achieve that, he bought some suction cups at a 100-yen shop to use in fixing the windows in an open position. That’s an idea I’m sure I would never have conceived on my own. I put that concept to work at once, further impressing upon me that the ability to instantly share such ideas underscores how we are all working together as a team to cultivate the i-ROAD.” The certificate of completion presented to Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots – embellished with a photo posted personally by Mr. Yamane during the driving period.  There was also major endorsement of the approach adopted in this project of directly reflecting Pilot opinions at the development stage. “When I utilized” ROAD KITCHEN”, a service that makes it possible to use 3D printers to make parts that fit your personal tastes, to create designs for front parts, it also was eye-opening to hear the others’ comment how they would like to infuse such touches on their cars. I think it would be great if more and more such opinions can be compiled, resulting not only in different designs but also in different driving sensations when the i-ROAD is eventually released on the marketplace. In that sense, I really hope that Test Drive Pilots from the different phases can all join in swapping their ideas and experiences from here on. Members of the Toyota Mirai Project Department also found our views quite interesting. It made a big impression on me to see them intently listen to the opinions of all Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots at the wrap-up meeting after the test drive period. It was a clear reflection of their determination to further evolve the i-ROAD from here on. It should also be pointed out that the opinions of the Phase 1 Pilots have been reflected in our charge app – yet another indication that the ideas of the individual Pilots are acting to power the evolution of i-ROAD as a source of collective wisdom. From the perspective of “joining hands to create,” this became a wonderful experience for me in every way.” When asked what he would do if given the opportunity to operate the i-ROAD once again, Mr. Yamane promptly noted: “I’d want to drive to and around more places where normal motorcycles and cars simply can’t go.” Such feedback from Mr. Yamane, someone who feels charisma in the i-ROAD in no way inferior to his own beloved motorbike and has taken the time to compare and analyze the car with other vehicles, is precious indeed. It has definitely furnished valuable insights on various different fronts. Test Drive Pilot recruiting continues. We warmly encourage all drivers who want to experience driving sensations available only behind the wheel of an i-ROAD to become a part of this innovative new mobility 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.   ・Test Drive Pilot Impression Talk - Back number  Test Drive Pilot Impression Talk ~ Part 1 (Phase 1: Mr. Tashiro)  Test Drive Pilot Impression Talk ~ Part 2 (Phase 1: Mr. Hashimoto) INTERVIEW BY Keita Fukasawa (contributor) TEXT BY Yoko Sueyoshi (contributor) PHOTOGRAPHS BY Eiji Fukasaku ISSUED : 20 November 2015    

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Test Drive Pilots | 2015.11.4

Phase 2 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilot Impressions
(Customization Edition)

From suggestions on parking space, through the voicing of frank opinions on vehicle charging… The Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots took the time and effort to furnish a truly broad range of eye-opening reports and discoveries. As individuals representing different occupations, tastes, preferences and walks of life zeroed in on the i-ROAD from their respective points of view, forthcoming was a rich range of exchanges and interaction between the Test Drive Pilots. From among the array of incoming ideas, in this feature we are delighted to introduce rather intriguing give-and-take furnished by two of the participating Pilots.   Commemorative snapshot of boarding his newly delivered i-ROAD. “I imagine the month-long test drive will be over before I realize it. Taking that truth to heart, I definitely look forward to making the most of that period to fathom new discoveries about the possibilities of urban mobility.” (August 30, 2015 Submitted by Yamane-san) The results of attaching “ROAD KITCHEN” generated front parts output on a 3D printer… “Finding myself baffled about what color to choose, I settled on purple. I figured that was a shade no one else would consider. Adding an extra accent to further spruce up the looks, I bet it will stand even more out on the road!” (2015. 9/10  by Yamane-san) After replacing the front parts, Mr. Yamane’s “customization juices” were further fueled. Retouching the photograph, he came up with a “gradation spec” version with purple flowing from the front wheels to the rear of the car. (2015. 9/10  by Yamane-san) Unique exchanges between Test Drive Pilots, encompassing visions and ideas for potential means of customizing the i-ROAD… The key force behind this initiative were comments received from Mr. Yamane, who had participated in test drive events even before the OPEN ROAD PROJECT got off the ground and otherwise expressed keen interest in the i-ROAD. Mr. Yamane equipped his own i-ROAD with front parts delivered from “ROAD KITCHEN” – a service conceived to mobilize 3D printers for enjoyment of personalized and custom-made designs. Seeing the results, he was immediately fired up to own his own special i-ROAD. Along with this, he was likewise inspired to customize the exterior colors of the i-ROAD, which came in a standard black-and-white version, and touched up photos to provide a simulated image. Then going one step further, Mr. Yamane directed this “customizing passion” toward his fellow Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots. Commemorative snapshot of boarding his newly delivered i-ROAD. “I imagine the month-long test drive will be over before I realize it. Taking that truth to heart, I definitely look forward to making the most of that period to fathom new discoveries about the possibilities of urban mobility.” (August 30, 2015 Submitted by Yamane-san) he results of attaching “ROAD KITCHEN” generated front parts output on a 3D printer… “Finding myself baffled about what color to choose, I settled on purple. I figured that was a shade no one else would consider. Adding an extra accent to further spruce up the looks, I bet it will stand even more out on the road!” (2015. 9/10  by Yamane-san) After replacing the front parts, Mr. Yamane’s “customization juices” were further fueled. Retouching the photograph, he came up with a “gradation spec” version with purple flowing from the front wheels to the rear of the car. (2015. 9/10  by Yamane-san)   Unique exchanges between Test Drive Pilots, encompassing visions and ideas for potential means of customizing the i-ROAD… The key force behind this initiative were comments received from Mr. Yamane, who had participated in test drive events even before the OPEN ROAD PROJECT got off the ground and otherwise expressed keen interest in the i-ROAD. Mr. Yamane equipped his own i-ROAD with front parts delivered from “ROAD KITCHEN” – a service conceived to mobilize 3D printers for enjoyment of personalized and custom-made designs. Seeing the results, he was immediately fired up to own his own special i-ROAD. Along with this, he was likewise inspired to customize the exterior colors of the i-ROAD, which came in a standard black-and-white version, and touched up photos to provide a simulated image. Then going one step further, Mr. Yamane directed this “customizing passion” toward his fellow Phase 2 Test Drive Pilots.     Definitely psyched up by the front parts created by ROAD KITCHEN… “This was a specially blended gold, with particular attention paid to the color combination. The true beauty of this is that it avoids mimicking the gaudy gold hue like that seen in the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. I felt the desire to integrate the roof, wheel covers and the vehicle ‘chin’ in gold as well.” (2015. 9/10  by Namba-san) Next, we have Mr.Namba, who after tooling along in the same regular black-and-white i-ROAD as Mr. Yamane also found himself fired up to personally customize the unit to better reflect his personal tastes. Toward that end, he proceeded to purchase some gold-colored wrapping sheet, and studied a plan to transform his i-ROAD roof into a different color scheme altogether. Catching a glimpse of this budding notion, Mr. Yamane proposed producing a golden image to serve as a reference. Mr. Namba immediately took his fellow Test Drive Pilot up on that offer. And the results of the design simulation delivered thereafter? Though somewhat jolted by the unexpectedly flashy image, Mr. Namba felt the voltage of his own customization urge surge to greater heights.   In this section, we’ve been pleased to present a digest version of some give-and-take generated on an SNS group site prepared specially for our Test Drive Pilots. As you can sense, the i-ROAD test-drive period serves to inspire various new pleasures, notions and other novel breakthroughs. That in turn paves the way to spontaneous interaction, setting the stage for the further surfacing of new concepts, proposals and other attractive and innovative resources. Based on this strong start, we look forward to sustained monitoring of the voices and impressions of i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots from here on as well. The arrival of the processed photo from Mr. Yamane, with the roof and lower front portion touched up in a golden color scheme. Though a bit perplexed at the unexpectedly showy image, Mr. Namba found it tough to contain his longing to get going with the envisioned wrapping sheet customization plan… “Oh man, this is going to be a car spec I may be too embarrassed to drive around in. But what the heck? Even if I end up making it look tacky, I’m ready to take it out on the road!” (2015. 9/10  by Namba-san) Definitely psyched up by the front parts created by ROAD KITCHEN… “This was a specially blended gold, with particular attention paid to the color combination. The true beauty of this is that it avoids mimicking the gaudy gold hue like that seen in the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto. I felt the desire to integrate the roof, wheel covers and the vehicle ‘chin’ in gold as well.” (2015. 9/10  by Namba-san) The arrival of the processed photo from Mr. Yamane, with the roof and lower front portion touched up in a golden color scheme. Though a bit perplexed at the unexpectedly showy image, Mr. Namba found it tough to contain his longing to get going with the envisioned wrapping sheet customization plan… “Oh man, this is going to be a car spec I may be too embarrassed to drive around in. But what the heck? Even if I end up making it look tacky, I’m ready to take it out on the road!” (2015. 9/10  by Namba-san)   Next, we have Mr.Namba, who after tooling along in the same regular black-and-white i-ROAD as Mr. Yamane also found himself fired up to personally customize the unit to better reflect his personal tastes. Toward that end, he proceeded to purchase some gold-colored wrapping sheet, and studied a plan to transform his i-ROAD roof into a different color scheme altogether. Catching a glimpse of this budding notion, Mr. Yamane proposed producing a golden image to serve as a reference. Mr. Namba immediately took his fellow Test Drive Pilot up on that offer. And the results of the design simulation delivered thereafter? Though somewhat jolted by the unexpectedly flashy image, Mr. Namba felt the voltage of his own customization urge surge to greater heights.   In this section, we’ve been pleased to present a digest version of some give-and-take generated on an SNS group site prepared specially for our Test Drive Pilots. As you can sense, the i-ROAD test-drive period serves to inspire various new pleasures, notions and other novel breakthroughs. That in turn paves the way to spontaneous interaction, setting the stage for the further surfacing of new concepts, proposals and other attractive and innovative resources. Based on this strong start, we look forward to sustained monitoring of the voices and impressions of i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots from here on as well.   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.   ・”i-ROAD Test Drive Pilot Comments” Back Issue  Phase 1 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilot Comments (Parking Lot Version) TEXT BY Keita Fukasawa (contributor) PHOTOGRAPHS BY Test Pilots ISSUED : 4 November 2015  

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Test Drive Pilots | 2015.10.23

Phase 3 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots Get Out on the Road!

Raising the curtain on this new month-long test-driving schedule, the Phase 3 Test Drive Pilots have forwarded us a steady stream of photos, comments and other details on their experiences. A diverse range of drivers, representing a variety of occupations and interests enjoy their driving by adapting the i-ROAD to their personal lifestyle needs. This is leading to hands-on experiences and keen takes on how best to deal with the emerging new era of “urban mobility.” In this report, we present a few selected messages submitted by these pioneers.   This is a shot of an i-ROAD parked in an “urban niche.” It was submitted by a housewife who commented passionately about her desire to utilize the i-ROAD for shuttling her kids around town. “With my driving skills, this is a spot I would never be able to negotiate in a normal car. The narrow vehicle width of the i-ROAD also makes it possible to breeze right along, with no break in the traffic flow, even when other cars are parked on the curb and taxis are stopped waiting for fares. That’s what I call comfy driving!” (October 6, 2015 Submitted by Tomohiro-san) “I motored around after dark, in the vicinity of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office Building. A tourist visiting from Taiwan took an interest in the vehicle, and asked me in broken Japanese: “Is this car supposed to be sushi?” I tentatively replied that I’d never thought of the vehicle in such culinary terms, but I’m still not very happy with my response.” (October 4, 2015 Submitted by Morii-san)   “A snapshot from our living room. Even the neighborhood stray seems fascinated with the i-ROAD. I’m equally head over heels for i-Road engineered for maximum fun and peace of mind out on the road!” (October 10, 2015 Submitted by Itao-san) One of the Test Drive Pilots is a university professor, who took time out of his hectic everyday schedule to savor scenes around the city far different from those visible through the windows of normal cars. “Good morning! Excuse me for being personal, but I recently have a packed work schedule, I took my i-ROAD for an ‘early morning stroll’ to help unwind.” (October 14, 2015 Submitted by Ono-san)   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.   ・“Test Drive Pilots” Back issues  Future Mobility” Beginning with the i-ROAD Test Drive Project  Phase 1 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots Get Out on the Road!  Phase 1 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilot Comments (Parking Lot Version)  Phase 2 i-ROAD Test Drive Pilots Get Out on the Road!   TEXT BY Keita Fukasawa (contributor) PHOTOGRAPHS BY Test Pilots ISSUED : 23 October 2015

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