eRacing Magazine Vol 2. Issue 9 - Page 44

Beginning in 1954, the 44th Tokyo Motor Show celebrates its commemorative 60th anniversary. With its inaugural running still in the wake of WWII, passenger vehicles were thin on the ground, instead concentrating on agricultural machinery. However with increasing prosperity in both manufacturing and the automotive market, the motor industry became a core export for Japan throughout the 1960’s to today.

For one of the smallest countries on the globe, Japan boasts a whopping fourteen car manufacturers and countless automotive parts makers. But more than this, Japan automotive industry has always had a strong social conscience – as evident from the response from the automotive sector in the wake of the 2011 tsunami.

One of the key exhibits in this year’s motor show is Smart Mobility City; an actual city located within the motor show where people will be able to experience first-hand what Tokyo might look like in the near future – specifically 2020.

Tokyo International Media Relations Officer, Jun Terashima explains:

“We will have micro-mobility running inside the façade of a city. It will include a CORE Station that will have a stop-and-go station that will exhibit EV’s and alternative fuel stands. Smart Mobility City won’t just be inside, but it will also be connected to the outside of the building itself. People will be able to test-drive micro-mobilities and personal mobilities.

Diversification of transportation means with the addition of micro EVs as a new transportation method to conventional mobilities such as public transportation and privately-owned vehicles is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and make a shift to a low-carbon society.

This has been a long-term project with Toyota’s "i-ROAD" (a micro-electronic vehicle EV being used as a barometer for public interest I smart mobility technology. In the spring of 2014, TOYOTA conducted a monitoring survey by lending ten"i-ROAD" vehicles to members of the public residing in the national capital region of Japan.

“Smart Mobility isn’t just about cars, but about information and how it’s transferred with a car,” says Terashima. “It’s also about roads and houses and of course energy and we want to showcase that.”

“After the Tsunami all the car manufacturers banded together (along with Google) and pooled their big data information (where the roads were defunct or not). Lack of information then would have cost a life. It was a very important turning point for interconnectivity between the internet and cars.”