In the not-too-distant future, personal transportation will take on a completely different shape than today. As more individuals move to city centers, public transportation will become even more important, but how will the car be able to fit in? Toyota is currently testing its i-ROAD electric vehicle in Grenoble, France, to see how it can integrate with public transportation to decrease the amount of traffic gridlock.
Toyota has announced plans to create a new city transportation system, and they’re calling it Ha:mo. This project involves providing 70 compact electric vehicles, including the i-ROAD, to the city of Grenoble. How does it work? The i-ROAD will be used as a “last-mile” vehicle that will help users get to the end of their destination after taking public transportation (like a train). The basic idea is to give commuters the ability to drive the last few miles of their trip for increased flexibility.
This isn’t the first time that we’ve heard the idea of a “last-mile” vehicle, which is ideal for city centers that are lacking in space. Rather than cluttering neighborhood streets with vehicles, these small cars are part of a sharing program, which will alleviate the need for the city’s inhabitants to have their own wheels. Toyota believes that the Ha:mo system will reduce traffic congestion and greenhouse gases in city centers.
The Ha:mo program is scheduled to run for three years, and users will be charged from 3 to 19 euros to use the i-ROAD vehicles for up to four hours. Toyota hasn’t announced whether the Ha:mo program will be tested in other cities, but it does represent a rival to other popular car-sharing programs like Zipcar.
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