Expanding Mobilty

It used to be called the Tokyo Motor Show. Now it’s been reborn as the Japan Mobility Show, reflecting the evolution of automotive manufacturing to match the changing lifestyles and needs of motorists and consumers.

Sunshine Television (STV) has for years been witness to this evolution, invited by automotive companies to Japan for the motor show as well as visits to respective automotive factories and research centers and test tracks.

In this first iteration of the Japan Mobility Show, STV’s Wee Gamboa and Jenny Pineda were invited by Toyota/Lexus and Honda, respectively, to witness the continuing transformation of mobility.

Toyota future

During his welcome speech at the Toyota Booth of the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, Toyota Motor Corporation president and CEO Koji Sato presented the brand’s future life with BEVs or battery electric vehicles.

Sato said Toyota envisions a future for next-generation BEVs and software-defined vehicles that meet the diversifying needs of customers around the world.

Toyota is looking at making cars with both a low center of gravity and spacious interior that is now possible with BEVs.

“If we have the technology to make cars smaller, lower and lighter, from sports cars and SUVs to pickup trucks and small vans, we can create a diverse lineup with outstanding qualities,” he said.

Sato also revealed that Toyota is developing Arene, a new software platform that “can stay up to date with the latest software, and use the vehicle data to speed up development that meets customer needs to provide more value that delights customers.”

Sato showcased the Kayoibako mobility concept.  A BEV that he described as not too big and not too small, but just the right size for lots of situations or needs.

The Kayobaiko “can keep you connected with the social infrastructure and service providers and bring more convenience and fun to your work and personal life, anytime and anywhere,” Sato said.

While Kayoibako represents the future of BEVs, the IMV 0 concept represents something closer to the present.

Sato said the IMV 0 will soon launch in Asia.

Ideas for the customizable IMV 0 are infinite.  Said Sato: “For example it can transport lots of fruits and vegetables in the fields. Arriving in the city, it quickly transforms into a farm stand. In a city square, it can turn into a coffee shop or a food truck.  At night it can become a bar or even a DJ booth.”

Lexus Electrified

Over at the Lexus Booth, Simon Humphries, Chief Branding Officer, presented the LF-ZC concept that is expected to come into production in 2026.

Humphries described the LF-ZC as “literally a moving sensor that can see, touch, hear and even smell.”

“A sensor that will enable unprecedented personalized driving possibilities. Possibilities that allow application makers to create new, breakthrough content all based on the unique situation and location of every car and user,” he added.

Back in 2019, Lexus made a commitment to become 100 percent electric by 2035.  And with the LF-ZC, Humphries can rightly say it’s an electrifying future.

Honda Dreams

Over the years, Honda has been driven by “The Power of Dreams.”

At the 2023 Japan Mobility Show, Honda presented even more products that at one time or another were only possible in dreams.

Honda is looking to develop mobility products and services that will enable people to transcend various constraints such as time and place and to augment their abilities and possibilities.”

One such dream is the “Cruise Origin,” a driverless rider hail service that Honda plans to make a reality in Japan in early 2026.

Honda says the Cruise Origin will provide an interior space that passengers can use to hold meetings or have fun times with the time while on the road.

Dreams of flying cars  are also being turned into reality by Honda with the Honda eVTOL and the HondaJet.

Going beyond vehicles—on the ground or in the sky—Honda is developing the Avatar Robot and the UNI-ONE.

The use of Honda Avatar Robot enables people, including those who have limited mobility due to various constraints, to play active roles from a remote location.

UNI-ONE is a device that users can steer simply by shifting their body weight while sitting without using hands and thus perform certain tasks while moving.

Then there is the Honda CI-MEV, a self-driving micro-mobility vehicle that is targeted at older people who find driving or walking more difficult.

Honda also presented the Prelude Concept, which, Honda Motor Co. president Toshihiro Mibe said “will become the prelude to our future models which will inherit the joy of driving into a full-fledged electrified future and embody Honda’s unalterable sports mindset.”

Happy Motoring!!!

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