We have seen the future of city transportation, and it’s the Toyota i-ROAD. Currently being tested in Grenoble, France, it’s basically a 3-wheeled electric vehicle with a range of up to 30-miles on a single charge. With Toyota’s “Active Lean” technology, it’s not only safe, but intuitive and enjoyable to drive, with no need for a helmet. The vehicle is only 92-inches long, 57-inches tall and 35-inches-wide. Continue reading for two videos, more pictures and additional information.
With an all-electric powertrain that uses a lithium-ion battery to power two 2kW motors mounted in the front wheels, the i-ROAD’s battery can be fully recharged from a conventional domestic power supply in a reasonable 3-hours. The “Active Lean” system uses a lean actuator and gearing mounted above the front suspension member, linked via a yoke to the left and right front wheels. There is also an ECU that calculates the required degree of lean based on steering angle, gyro-sensor and vehicle speed information, with the system automatically moving the wheels up and down in opposite directions, applying lean angle to counteract the centrifugal force of cornering.