Toyota is testing out an electric car-sharing service in Grenoble, France that may take away the need to actually purchase vehicles. The service is called Harmonious Mobility (Ha:mo), and it integrates a minimalist car with two seats and three wheels to the city's bus and tram service.
Ha:mo scans traffic and bus capacity through a network that manages Grenoble's transportation system. It also scans the availability of 70 electric cars at charging stations around the city. Through an app, users are able to find the quickest route to their destination, using a combination of public transportation and the car-sharing service.
Toyota is providing users with two car options -- a Toyota i-Road, a strange looking three-wheeler, or a Toyota COMS, which is a single-seat car with a luggage compartment.
Currently, many commuters will choose to drive instead of taking public transportation because the bus or subway routes won't take them close enough to their destination, causing them to take a long walk or grab a cab after getting off at their stop. This is especially an issue during bad weather or late at night. Toyota's car-sharing service provides the perfect solution. Thanks to the size of the vehicles, the service will also help to reduce traffic and air pollution in urban areas.
“Toyota thinks that smoother mobility can be achieved by linking and coordinating the use of automobiles and public transportation,” said Ed Lewis, a spokesperson for Toyota Motor North America. “For Toyota, electricity remains an effective energy source for the diversification of fuels and reduction of transport emission in an urban environment.”
Ha:mo will be launching in Grenoble in September.
Learn more about Ha:mo in the video below.