Tokyo Motor Show 2017 Offers a Glimpse of Future Urban Mobility
Tokyo Connected Lab 2017
In a future where cars drive themselves and talk to infrastructure in real time, what does travelling look like for us all?
The upcoming 45th Tokyo Motor Show offers a glimpse of how mobility will change in the advent of artificial intelligence, autonomous driving and the Internet of Things connecting everything.
As Japan’s 14 automakers gather in Tokyo between October 27th and November 5th at Tokyo Big Sight, a special exhibit called the Tokyo Connected Lab 2017 will allow visitors to get a taste of the future via three programs.
Another recurring feature of the Motor Show is mobility test ride experiences, which vary from mobility for individuals up to commercial vehicles. What would be especially interesting for the public is the test rides for individual commuters as well as micro-mobility solutions.
In a nutshell, micro-mobility refers to alternative modes of transportation such as electric scooters, electric bicycles and even small electric cars that only seat one or two passengers.
Between October 28th and November 1st, visitors can participate in a personal mobility test ride at the Center Promenade. Separately, visitors may also drop by the Odaiba Special Event Venue between October 31st and November 1st to experience micro-mobility.
The micro-mobility test rides are divided into two types: one on a dedicated course and another on public roads, which promises a real-world application of how technology is changing the way we move around.
As for the Tokyo Connected Lab 2017, the first of three programs called The Future offers visitors an opportunity to visualise how mobility looks like in future via a fully interactive, 360-degree dome that can hold up to 300 people at a time. The visual projections will continuously change as participants provide input.
VR Experience at The Maze
Another exciting feature of the Lab is The Maze — where 30 visitors at a time can travel through a fully connected, maze-like Tokyo of the future via a virtual reality experience.
There is also allocated space, called The Meet Up, for participants to engage in a series of talks by leaders and innovators from various backgrounds on the direction of mobility’s evolution and the opportunities that would arise.
The different venues for this year’s test-ride programs signal an attempt by the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc, which organises the annual Motor Show, to allow more visitors to participate.
In comparison, previous editions had seen all programs held at the Tokyo Big Sight. This year’s edition will also see more test ride programs available compared to previous shows.
Themed “Beyond The Motor”, the Motor Show will be officiated by Her Imperial Highness Princess Yohko of Mikasa on October 27th.