Looking forward into the future, Toyota and Yamaha understand that urban areas will become much more densely populated over the next decade and that population requires reliable and economical transportation capabilities. There are only so many cars that can fit on the road and the forward looking approach Toyota and Yamaha have taken is to focus on small electric vehicles such as bikes and scooters that could play a big role in personal transportation in the future.
The EC-Miu three-wheeler, called the "electric commuter" and PAS-WITH e-bike concepts appeared at the Tokyo Motor show this year and one of the obvious benefits is the "cool" factor built into its futuristic design. It also runs on electricity, which is a plus for those who would like hold their noses up at Prius owners every time they drive by. The best part of this conceptual technology is actually under the hood, so to speak. The collaborative relationship that Toyota and Yamaha are leveraging involves Toyota's Smart Grid technology which was developed through a partnership with Microsoft.
Read on after the break to find out what makes it so cool and to see a video of the technology in action.
With 3G/4G and WiFi connections these vehicles can connect to the Toyota Smart Center which acts as a grid system with charging stations located around urban areas. Users can get access to the grid to locate charging stations, rent the vehicles and pay for usage of them as well. It also serves as a tool for the vehicle to dump diagnostic information which could be useful for servicing damaged or under-performing vehicles. At the moment this service is exclusive to the non-car electric vehicles but it is possible that the system can be expanded to cars in the future. The collaborative efforts between Toyota and Yamaha seems to be a good way to bring old technology into the new world and make it more efficient for everyone. One downside is that it could start to make its users fatter since even with the e-bike, there will be much less effort required.
Check out this promotional video from the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.