Giving a hint about the future of mobility, Toyota has unveiled its all-electric, three-wheeled personal mobility vehicle, dubbed the i-Road, just before the Geneva Motor Show. The concept vehicle, which is designed to seat two individuals in a safe and covered space, has three wheels for more energy efficiency and can be driven like a normal two-wheeler, without worrying much about balancing the vehicle at low speeds.
The company states that the i-Road has an all-electric range of about 30 miles after which it can be recharged from a conventional wall socket in three hours. The vehicle also features the company’s “Active Lean” technology that makes riding this eco friendly vehicle safe and enjoyable. The i-Road electric drivetrain includes two 2kW electric motors mounted on the front two wheels, which give decent acceleration and a near-silent and completely emission free drive.
The USP of the electric concept vehicle is the company’s Active Lean technology that uses a lean actuator and gearing above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front wheels. The electric control unit onboard calculates the required degree of lean based on the steering angle, vehicle speed and the gyro-sensor to move the wheels up and down in the opposite direction to give more stability.
The system also operates when the vehicle is being drive in a straight line over stepped surfaces and the actuator automatically compensates for the changes in the road to keep the body level.