toyota i-road 05

Remember the Toyota i-ROAD you saw in Geneva back in March? Seems it hasn’t just waddled into obscurity – Toyota has announced that the all-electric two-seater will join the Ha:mo urban transport system trials in Toyota City, Aichi, Japan from early 2014.

Launched in October 2012, the Ha:mo system combines all forms of public and private transport, aiming to improve traffic flow while keeping emissions in check. It also ensures the most appropriate form of transport is used to get where you want to go.

Two services are offered – Ha:mo Navi (left) and Ha:mo Ride (right). The former provides both public and private transport users with route guidance and traffic info, while the latter enables car-sharing for short and last-mile hops, such as a ride from the train station to a shop.

The system is currently populated by 10 Toyota COMS personal mobility vehicles (pictured below) and 10 Yamaha PAS power-assisted bicycles that users can rent and return at four locations. From next month, the fleet will grow to 100 of each, and there’ll be 17 new rent-and-return locations. These spots will be conveniently located near main train stations and major public facilities.

Toyota COMS

A fee system for the car-sharing service will also begin in October, starting at 200 yen (RM6.60) for the first 10 minutes and 20 yen (66 sen) per minute thereafter.

Also introduced is the Ha:mo smartphone app – this offers services such as new route suggestions based on traffic flow and local vehicle station stocking levels, vehicle reservation, access to bus timetables and push notifications of predicted traffic congestion and weekly traffic congestion forecasts.

Toyota expects Ha:mo membership to rise from 100 to 1,000 in October, and says the system will bring emotion like “I want to go somewhere more.”