by Donald Wood
Last updated: 6:00 AM ET, Thu March 12, 2015
Photo courtesy of Toyota
The Toyota Motor Corporation is one of the most innovative manufacturers in the world, and the company has done it again with the proposed trial of a car sharing service in Tokyo, Japan, using the "i-Road," a three-wheeled electric vehicle.
According to a press release from Toyota, the company will partner with Park24 Co., Ltd. beginning April 10 and running through Sept. 30 to continue the "Times Car Plus" service provided by Park24, with the addition of the i-Road vehicle.
Users of Park24's "Times Car Plus" service will be able to make reservations for one of the i-Road vehicles online. Drivers will have to go through a training course before using the system, and the rental will cost 412 yen (the equivalent of $3.40 in the United States) for every of 15 minutes of usage. The maximum time the vehicles can be used would be two and a half hours, according to the press release.
Members of the service will be able to rent one of the vehicles from the main hub in Times Station at Yurakucho ITOCiA. Travelers would be able to return it at five locations around the city, including; Tokyo Tower, Asakusa, Odaiba Palette Town, Tokyo Dome City or Yurakucho ITOCiA.
The new transportation portal also features ideas incorporated into the Toyota's "Ha:mo" optimized urban transport system. Per the press release, the system is used in Toyota City, and "aims to relieve traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and improve mobility."
Toyota and Park24 will be gathering information throughout the trial period with the hopes of determining the pros and cons of the system and finding out whether or not this concept would be feasible at a larger scale.
The auto rental industry is already huge, but the concept of small, eco-friendly vehicles being used to carry people over small distances on their one-way journeys could revolutionize the business.
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