Toyota’s i-Road is set to enter a new car-sharing programme in Tokyo this April.
The super-compact, electric three-wheeled vehicle is already proving its worth as part of a co-ordinated public transport scheme in Grenoble, France, and has also been put through its paces in Toyota City.
This new trial will see the iRoad paired up with Park24’s Times Car Plus service, which allows members to make use of a fleet of share-cars at any time of day.
Components from Toyota’s Ha:mo urban transport template will be incorporated into the scheme – something which has been also adopted for the Grenoble project.
The Tokyo trial is set to run until the end of September. Usage data and user feedback will be collected to assess ease of use, changes in user activity patterns and public receptiveness to new mobility systems of this type.
i-Road has been designed to be used for one-way trips to business, shops and sightseeing locations. Customers will pick up their vehicle from the Times Station at the Yurakucho ITOCiA shopping mall and drop them off at any of five central locations.
Services will be offered to Times Car Plus corporate members and selected individual members also. Prospective users will have to undertake an i-Road training course before driving the vehicle – services will cost around £2.25 per 15 minutes with a maximum usage period of two-and-a-half hours.
Park24 also operates a network of car parks across Japan and have created Times Car Plus to make public mobility even more convenient. The service has almost 430,000 members and offers a wide range of cars for rental.
Trial operations of Ha:mo have been underway since October 2012 in Toyota City – a system which is aimed at reducing traffic congestion, lowering air pollution levels and improving mobility.
The system links private and public transportation networks and is currently being trialed between railway stations and depots at public facilities across the city.