More and more everyday it is not hard to look around and not wonder if life has somehow managed to merge itself with the imagination of the human mind. Most of what is seen today was unfathomable even 5 years ago. But now it’s as if we stepped into a big worldwide video game. There are interactive computers which allow us to feel touch through a screen, mobile phones that can control an entire house and even the idea of electric vehicles are a reality and they come in almost every fathomable shape and size conceivable.
Then there is the i-ROAD from Toyota. It is hard to really understand if it is a scooter or a car. The vehicle is three wheeled and holds two seaters in tandem. The thing about it is that it is remarkably easy to park and maneuver in any of the busiest city streets. Unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show, the i-ROAD has all the versatility of a scooter. Due to its enclosed interior, it’s a much safer alternative. Furthermore, this means that no helmet is needed when riding in or driving it. It is an all- electric vehicle powered by a lithium-ion battery that drives two 2kW motors mounted in the front wheels.
The driving range apparently is thirty miles and the battery can be charged from any domestic outlet in just about 3 hours. The very intuitive lean system, called the Active Lean, helps with stability as it allows the driver to maneuver easily through traffic and around corners. An ECU calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed information, with the system automatically moving the wheels up and down in opposite directions, so that it takes the work off the rider to balance the vehicles as it leans to go around corners, unlike conventional bikes and scooters.
Safe to say the i-ROAD looks very similar to something that would be driven in a video game but leave it to Toyota to leave nothing to the imagination and make it a reality.