Toyota’s i-Real: The Real Transformer

Toyota recently uncovered a new conceptual personal mobility vehicle called i-Real, at the 2007 Tokyo Auto Show. The new vehicle can easily change its shape to fit its speed of movement. The i-Real vehicle was developed in order to demonstrate Toyota’s concept for future transportation in crowded environments.

The i-Real is a three wheeler that can operate in two different speeds, each having its own advantages. The low-speed mode is suitable for movement in a pedestrian environment, as the passenger is positioned at eye-level height, while the vehicleis still small enough not to disrupt everyday life. In high-speed mode the vehicle automatically adjusts itself to the quick movement, lowering its center of gravity by lengthening the wheelbase.

The i-Real has a safety mechanism designed to protect both the driver and those passing by. When recognizing a possible collision the i-Real flashes lights and emits sounds to warn the pedestrians, while producing noises and vibrations that alert the driver of the upcoming collision.

The new i-Real is another innovation in a long and rather bizarre-looking line of concept vehicles from Toyota. The i-Real predecessors include the 2003 Toyota PM concept, and the i-unit, i-swing and i-foot, which was covered by TFOT in 2006. All of Toyota’s concept vehicles are intended to allow an easy and natural maneuverability in urban areas.