Toyota i-Tril is a concept by which the Japanese manufacturer wants to prove that small electric cars are ideal for the congested areas of cities.
Traffic congestion is one of the main current issues large urban areas face, and the car manufacturers are trying to find novel solutions.
The Japanese opened the series in 2013 with the i-Road and this year they raised the bar with i-Tril. As expected, the new tricycle has not only electric propulsion, but also an autonomous driving system, without which one cannot conceive a concept.
Upgrades go a little further, so the i-Tril gains a place for a third passenger, an effort reminiscent of an Airbus concept a few years ago which proposed transport solutions with standing passengers using an A380.
Well, it seems that in the future cars will be personal transport units, which can take on board only the owner, and occasionally two passengers. They will be electric with a range of 200 km, light weight (600 kg), compact (2,830 mm long and 1,460 mm in height), which leans in 10 degrees bends, like a motorcycle, and which can drive autonomously.
It has four wheels, but the rear wheels are placed very close to each other, with width ranging from 1,200 mm at the front to 600 mm in the rear.
Just like i-Road, the i-Tril has Active Lean technology, which means that the car leans into corners. The tilt control is assigned to a microprocessor that calculates the angle depending on speed, steering angle of the wheels and other parameters. Basically, the i-Tril’s computer manages,to ensure stability in all driving conditions, while allowing a turning circle of only 3 meters. Moreover, when running on sloping ground, the same system ensures the i-Tril ‘s verticality for maximum comfort for the three occupants.
The butterfly-shaped doors open to provide a generous entrance and exit area, but the system requires no more space than a usual car.
The concept has a range of about 200 kilometers, more than enough to traverse short distances in the city.
The concept is an autonomous model which has no pedal, meaning that the driver enjoys generous legroom. The driver has the possibility to drive the concept and the direction, acceleration and braking are managed through drive-by-wire technology.
When driving itself the instrument panel automatically illuminates left or right to inform passengers what type of turn it will address.
The multimedia and infotainment systems are controlled via voice commands only.
The car uses the idea of 1 + 2 seats, with the two seats placed behind the driver’s seat. This configuration allows generous space, including for the rear passengers while the driver enjoys a better visibility.
The interior is made from recycled wood materials and alcantara upholstery contribute to high comfort.
According to the Japanese, this vehicle is focused, in particular, on a new category of customers – single mothers 30 – 50 years of age with one or two children.