Toyota Unveils ‘smartphone’ Car
November 28, 2011 by staff
Toyota Unveils ‘smartphone’ Car, Toyota’s president unveiled a futuristic concept car resembling a giant smartphone to demonstrate how Japan’s top automaker is trying to take the lead in technology at the upcoming Tokyo auto show.
Toyota Motor Corp. will also be showing an electric vehicle, set for launch next year, and a tiny version of the hit Prius gas-electric hybrid at the Tokyo Motor Show, which opens to the public this weekend.
But the automaker’s president, Akio Toyoda, chose to focus on the experimental Fun-Vii, which he called “a smartphone on four wheels” at Monday’s preview of what Toyota is displaying at the show.
The car works like a personal computer and allows drivers to connect with dealers and others with a tap of a touch-panel door.
“A car must appeal to our emotions,” Toyoda said, using the Japanese term “waku waku doki doki,” referring to a heart aflutter with anticipation.
Toyota’s booth will be a major attraction at the biannual Tokyo exhibition for the auto industry. Toyota said the Fun Vii was an example of what might be in the works in “20XX,” giving no dates.
The Tokyo show has been scaled back in recent years as U.S. and European automakers increasingly look to China and other places where growth potential is greater. U.S. automaker Ford Motor Co. isn’t even taking part in the show.
Toyota’s electric vehicle FT-EV III, still a concept or test model, doesn’t have a price yet, but is designed for short trips such as grocery shopping and work commutes, running 105 kilometers (65 miles) on one full charge.
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