Global automotive leader Toyota has made a rather unconventional appearance at this year’s Tokyo Motor Show wherein it had no production cars on display in its main pavilion. Instead, they went from vroom to “broom” with an ‘e-broom’ and other future mobility solutions.
Dubbed as the ‘Mobility Theme Park’ Toyota’s 2019 Tokyo Motor Show booth wanted to give visitors a preview of how the future might look like.
"Our booth this time does not feature a single car 'to be launched next year'. All that is found here are forms of mobility that link to society and communities and that provide modes of getting around and services to people," said Akio Toyoda.
This 'Remote Health Check' concept is like a mobile clinic on wheels, it could be a new way of providing basic medical services to remote areas.
With the advent of shared mobility whether as a vehicle itself or a service, and young people shying away from buying or owning cars; Toyoda thinks people will own vehicles like the e-RACER concept. "If you would own a car in the future, it would be a sports car like the e-RACER."
This e-RACER is the only semblance to a car that will obviously not make it to production in the near feature.
Toyoda also clarified that the future won't necessarily have people just having to watch machines with the risk of robots dominating people such as in the movie 'Terminator' or 'I, Robot'. Toyota's vision sees humans still being at the center of it all.
"The two pillars of the Toyota Production System - 'Intelligent automation' and 'Just-in-time'. What both of these have in common is the placing of people at the center. And that's exactly why people will continue to be at the center of the future that we envision. I believe that the more automation advances, the more the ability of human beings will be put to the test," said Toyoda.
Toyota did have some cars, but they were not in the show itself. The Mirai prototype and the Yaris were both in a separate display, far from the show grounds.
While a preview of the future is nice and exciting, we went to the motor show expecting to see concepts of actual cars that would be launched soon or new cars themselves. Perhaps this is a result of Toyota’s reaction to criticisms that they are not innovating as a car company, but maybe they went a bit too far with the concept.