Time is changing and so are mobility and transportation needs. To adapt to the changes, auto makers are always trying to come up with designs that they hope will work in future. Toyota for years has been known to create automobiles geared to increased personal mobility.
Toyota introduced the PM concept back in 2003 and has released an updated version going by the name “2016 Toyota PM Concept ”. This car has a unique design that does not resemble our traditional definition of a car.
Toyota PM Concept Exterior and Interior Specs
This car doesn’t resemble a traditional car, perhaps we should come up with a new name for these automobiles. Far from that, the PM doesn’t have any doors. It accommodates a single passenger in a cockpit that looks like flightless helicopter.
To access its cabin, a person enters through a front hatch which is raised and lowered using hydraulic-lift bars. Once a person is seated, the seat slides back into the body into a position for travel. The front hatch also acts as the windshield. When the vehicle is in motion its wheelbase and length stretches which allows the cabin encapsulating the cockpit to recline; when this happens, the driver position changes from upright to a tilted one. Due to changing cabin position, its length varies from 6.74 to 8.69 while the wheelbase varies from 3.61 ft to 6.56 ft depending on the position of the cabin too. Its height also varies from 3.99 ft to 6.09 ft but its width remains constant at 4.82 ft.
The Toyota PM Concept will ride on hollow-center-wheels and each wheel being independent of the other which results in a one of the kind steering ability. The PM doesn’t have a steering wheel; instead Toyota has installed two joysticks that control steering and speed. Its instrument panel displays the cars data, location and position based on information and paths of nearby PMs. It will use a virtual interface that looks as if to float in midair. It also uses infrared to detect a driver’s fingertip position. The automaker has also installed computer gadgets that enable it to communicate with other PMs. Toyota will use a wireless technology which is still kept as a secret.
A PM driver can also surrender control to another driver; as such a single PM can control a group of others. During communication between PMs, LED technology is employed which changes the color on its tips, headlamps, side and rear panels, antennas and door tips of the car to indicate emotions.
Power-train and performance
Unlike a traditional car, the Toyota PM Concept has no hood where we can open to have a look at the engine; in fact there is no engine. The PM will be powered by a DC brushless electric motor. The motor is started using a push-button like that on a personal computer. As we have seen, its wheelbase varies to allow the cabin to recline depending on the mode of operation; this is possible since the cabin is separated from the car’s wheels. The auto maker is yet to disclose details on the PMs Output, top speed and battery life. There are three driving modes; the first is the entry and exit mode when the PM is at rest. During this mode, the cabin is upright and its length is minimal.
The car can turn in place by turning the right and left rear wheels in different directions since all wheels are independent of each other. The second is the city mode. The cabin has the capability to tilt back during stop-and-go travel enabling it to maneuver tight corners of a town. The last mode is the high-speed mode. When on open road, its wheelbase extends to enable the cabin to recline to the lowest posture which increases stability during high speeds.
Price and release date
Being still a concept, the automaker has not announced information on an official price or release date. The car will be unveiled during the Tokyo Motor Show in late October. These types of vehicles will enter into a market segment dominated by motorcycles.