Jose Altoveros / Toyota | October 19, 2017 11:56
Sora fuel cell bus concept previews Toyota's vision of public transport in the future
It is possible Toyota will have one of the largest vehicles on display at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show with the launch of the Sora concept. Like the Fine-Comfort Vehicle previewed earlier, the Sora concept also uses a fuel-cell powertrain. However, unlike Toyota's future vision of a premium sedan capable of seating six, the Sora concept is capable of seating up to 79 people.
The fuel cell bus concept derives its name Sora from the words – sky, ocean, river and air. These are not just randomly chosen words, but are instead a nod to the earth's water cycle process. Powering it is Toyota's Fuel Cell System originally developed for the Mirai FCV and 10-high pressure hydrogen tanks. It produces no emissions and only emitting water, hence its name.
Unlike a conventional bus, Toyota designed the Sora with stereoscopic shaping in order to give it a more unique look. LED headlights and taillights have also been fitted to give it a more futurisitic look. The interior of the fuel cell bus has also been improved to give passengers a better ride.
Setting Sora apart from other buses are its unique features such as the 8 HD cameras installed on the inside and outside. The interior cameras monitor activity in the bus while the exterior cameras monitors for objects, be it a bicycle or pedestrian. Once an exterior object has been detected it notifies the driver with visual and audio warnings. There is also an acceleration control function which prevents sudden accelaration, providing a continuously smooth ride.
The Toyota Sora will make its public debut at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show together with rest of Toyota's concept line up.. Unlike other concepts, a production model Sora could debut as early as next year. The Japanese automaker says that they expect to introduce over 100 Sora buses in the Tokyo metropolitan area ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.