Browse Publications Technical Papers 2011-39-7242
2011-05-17

The i-REAL Personal Mobility Vehicle 2011-39-7242

The need for small personal mobility vehicles is growing as urbanization, the aging of society, traffic congestion, and parking become major issues, particularly in inner-city areas. The aging of society also means that more short trips within communities will be made. The i-REAL personal mobility vehicle is a next-generation single-passenger electric vehicle that enables the driver to move around town using a smaller amount of energy. This compact EV has three wheels: two front wheels driven by in-wheel motors and one rear wheel. According to the driver's needs, the i-REAL switches driving modes by changing its wheelbase. It can go slowly, allowing the driver to meet the eyes of passers-by when driving in parks, on sidewalks, or inside shopping malls. When on the road, it can lower its height and drive quickly like a bicycle or motorcycle. The body of the i-REAL leans automatically based on the speed and the turn angle to maintain the balance of the vehicle for any driver. For safety, the i-REAL detects obstructions and people ahead by radar and slows down automatically. In addition, areas likely to be impacted in collisions are made of softer materials. The i-REAL also has built-in contact sensors that stop the vehicle automatically if a collision occurs. Demonstration tests have been held at the Chubu International Airport from June 2009 toward practical use of the i-REAL in the future.

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