VIDEO: Toyota hints at Mobility-as-a-Service vision as it showcases upcoming products in action
Following the announcement that automotive giant Toyota is planning to enter the mobility industry with a new range of products due to launch in Japan in the next 12 to 24 months, the company has released a film demonstrating the models being used.
The Japanese motor manufacturer unveiled its new Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show, with a mobility scooter and wheelchair power assist being amongst the new products.
According to Toyota, it says that its work around mobility will be focused on “vehicle development and the stable supply, improved durability, and reuse of batteries,” and comes as automotive manufacturers globally invest heavily in electric vehicles and battery technology.
The video shows off Toyota’s new ranges in the real world, with a short segment dedicated to both its wheelchair power assist and mobility scooter.
Yet to be confirmed, the video also suggests that the mobility scooter has the ability to be controlled remotely from a smartphone without a rider, enabling users to call the mobility aid on demand.
With plans to put its mobility products into full commercial production by 2021, Toyota has also said its new mobility products are looking beyond individual, personal mobility, suggesting the potential for a new Mobility-as-a-Service (Maas) model – with the automated, rider-less feature of the scooter fitting into such a model.
The Japanese multinational has verified it is currently working with almost 100 corporate and government partners in Japan to introduce a new business model, including “leasing initiatives designed to recapture used batteries for evaluation and re-use as appropriate in pre-owned vehicles, as service parts, or even in non-automobile applications.”
“We are steadily preparing a framework to respond thoroughly to the challenge, putting all the pieces in place, including the creation of new business models,” said Toyota.
“Working in an extensive and open manner, we are collaborating with partners as we strive to contribute to a better society.”
Not the first Japanese to explore new mobility models, WHILL – the advanced powerchair distributed by TGA Mobility – recently announced a new partnership with North American-based mobility rental provider Scootaround to develop its MaaS model.
To see Toyota’s mobility ambition and products in action, watch the video below: