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Old 02-10-2015, 07:13 AM   #1
iDazzle
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iRoad (motorcycle/car/golfcart?)

635590781533571471 toyota iroad stock image 100222336 large zps1ooifrxw


Serenity now. It's 4:30 in the afternoon and I've been stuck on the same stretch of Bush Street in San Francisco's Financial District for an entire hour. And I have to pee.

The Bay Area's latest tech boom has left those of us living in, around, and on the outskirts of such "abundance" smack in the middle of epic urban gridlock. Just trying to pick my daughter up from school (the 12.1 miles takes 20 minutes without traffic) takes anywhere from two-four hours these days, even using public transportation. It's become an exercise in extreme patience, perseverance, and now bladder control. Every day is a -shoot.

iRoad, Take Me Away

Toyota might be able to help. I've just taken it's new iRoad concept vehicle for a spin and the engineers are having a hard time getting me out of it. Not because it's the size of a pint-sized clown car, but because it's the most fun I've had driving in as long as I can remember. I want one and I want it now.

If a Motorcycle Married a Bobsled...

The iRoad is a futuristic poly-marriage of motorcycle, tiny electric compact car, bobsled, and shopping cart. Sliding behind the wheel feels like getting into a cockpit you're fully enclosed in hard plastic and carbon fiber it's cozy, comfortable, and incredibly sparse for something so tech'd out. Turn the key, unlock the emergency brake, and you have just three buttons on the dashboard to choose from R, N, and D. A press of the "D" for "Drive" button and off we go.

You turn with a steering wheel just like in a car, but the entire vehicle leans into each curve, just like on a motorcycle. It's almost like the iRoad is modeled after an Olympic speed skater, with the way it tilts in order to make each turn. As far as driving skill goes, there's really no learning curve, and the engineers promised me that I simply cannot tip this little hybrid over. I tried. They were right.

It steers more like downhill skis or skates than anything I've driven before, with two articulating wheels in the front that rise up and down, each powered by a small electric motor, and one in the back that swivels like the wheel on a shopping cart. It feels like you're hovering, or gliding, and it only takes a few minutes before I'm completely ignoring the little cone course Toyota had set up for me in a parking lot, content to simply spin donuts, pull hockey stops, and marvel at how how much fun it all is.

Inside iRoad

But this adorable little vehicle isn't a toy, and it lets you know that if you need a reminder. For example, when I turn too sharply the steering wheel vibrates and makes a humming noise. It's a haptic feedback response telling me to let up a little on the pedal and take my hairpin turns with a little more grace. It's also so low to the ground that I bottom out over a little bump and nearly give the Toyota reps a heart attack. No harm done though, as they assure me it's safer than a motorcycle even though it feels like I could get squashed like a bug between a Mini Cooper and a Prius any minute now.

Who's Buying It?

The entire vehicle is under three feet wide and if you absolutely have to, you can cram a small to medium sized person in the back. It tops out at about 37-miles per hour pedal to the medal and can only go about 30-miles on one charge, which means it's for close city driving and not much else. The idea though is not to replace its pioneering hybrid Prius or best-selling Camry, but rather to give people an alternate way to dodge around in clogged lanes like a bike messenger, but with more a "mom van" type safety feel.

Right now, the iRoad is still in total test phase and Toyota is unsure at this point when, if ever, it will go on sale and how much it will cost. But don't be surprised if you see this agile little space-pod-on-wheels speeding around your city sometime in the future hopefully with me behind the wheel.


There's a video of the iRoad in motion>>

http://www.khou.com/story/tech/perso...road/23118001/



I like it but i dont like how itll only last 30miles per charge.
I wonder how much itll cost...9k?
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:24 AM   #2
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Top speed 37 mph and too wide to lane split to avoid trouble? No thanks
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:24 AM   #3
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That'd be awesome, if they could just make it a little faster with longer range. I'd be all over it.
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:25 AM   #4
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Top speed 37 mph and too wide to lane split to avoid trouble? No thanks
It sounded like they were suggesting lane splitting with it in the article. Although I doubt I would want to be doing that, it's pretty wide
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Old 02-10-2015, 07:37 AM   #5
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Has a lower seat level than most cars so you lose the advantage of being able to see over most vehicles like when you're on a bike. You wouldn't really be able to drive aggressively defensive.
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Old 02-10-2015, 08:59 AM   #6
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Might be fun...
if you put a busa motor in it
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:02 AM   #7
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How would anyone think that this is safer than a motorcycle? I mean maybe it's safer in the sense that if you get hit by a car in it you are less likely to be injured. But I'd venture to say that you're way more likely to be hit in the first place.
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:15 PM   #8
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Looks fun
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Old 02-11-2015, 11:57 PM   #9
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Having rented a chevy spark, a tiny little itty bitty car, i found it extremely convenient to find parking, esp parallel parking so i see how this iRoad would be great for inner city commute. That spark was just so small n quick to get around, it felt like i owned the universe weaving around and such, lol.

I know it doesn't provide much protection but honestly, in the city, drivers drive more cautiously. .especially in boston, san fran n im sure other condensed cities.

I hope this vehicle makes it out for the public to purchase.

(I rode a friend's can am, its difficult to steer! I was surprised)
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Old 02-12-2015, 06:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iDazzle View Post
I know it doesn't provide much protection but honestly, in the city, drivers drive more cautiously. .especially in boston, san fran n im sure other condensed cities.
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A town car in which Simon was a passenger Wednesday night hit another car stopped at a Manhattan traffic light and then slammed into metal barriers separating traffic lanes, police said. Simon and the town car's driver were taken to a hospital, where Simon was pronounced dead.
CBS '60 Minutes' correspondent Bob Simon dies in car crash (link)
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Old 02-12-2015, 07:43 AM   #11
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way to stir it up bro
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