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Toyota's Vehicle Team At The Tokyo Summer Olympic Games

Photo Credit: Toyota Motor Corporation



Occurring after a one-year delay under unprecedented circumstances, the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games opened on July 23rd as a much-needed opportunity to see the globe’s most diverse, dedicated collection of human athleticism in full force. The competitors of this year’s games have spent a before part of an entire lifetime perfecting their performance potential for the chance to be the lucky few to be eligible in their choice sport. With more than11,000 athletics arriving from 206 countries vying for the rare opportunity to one of three medals in each event.


With all the practice and preparation put forth by every individual competitor to make it to Tokyo, Japan, the final leg of the journey towards attempting to make Olympic dreams come true receives some support by a sizable staff in the Olympic Village as well as at athletic venues. Serving to support athletes and the workers at the games, Japanese automotive giant Toyota Motor Corporation provided various Toyota-branded and Lexus products with commencement of the delayed games. Additionally, Toyota followed through with 2019 announcement for a special vehicle fleet promoting stand-out emission-reducing and advanced driving technologies. Originally intended for duties during 2020 with a large capacity crowd in Tokyo, the altered structure of this Olympic Summer Games has led to adjustments to the many plans including Toyota’s plans to showcase their advanced vehicles.

 

Though the exposure for the following vehicles during the games was perhaps more limited than hoped for by Toyota, they performed admirably in providing added mobility during the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games.



Toyota Mirai


Toyota Mirai Fuel Cell Vehicle
Photo Credit: Chris Nagy/Car FYI Canada



 

Maximum Planned Vehicles Announced for Olympics in 2019: 500

Total Vehicles in Use at 2021 Games: 475


The only piece of Toyota’s advanced vehicle fleet for the games to be in mass production, the hydrogen fuel cell electric Mirai is the most abundant. With 475 Toyota Mirai units used for the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games, the first generation version of the zero-emission four-door sedan was used as transportation of staff.


First sold in Japan at the beginning of 2015 and arriving in select regions of the United States in later in the same year, the first generation Toyota Mirai introduced the possibility for the general driving public to purchase a vehicle using a fuel cell powertrain. Featuring a fuel cell stack that processes hydrogen gas into electricity to a 113-kilowatt (153 horsepower) electric motor, the Mirai maximum cruising range is rated at 312 miles (502 kilometers). LED headlights, premium infotainment system, keyless ignition, heated seats and adaptive cruise control came included with the four-passenger car.


Toyota did find a chance to promote the newly redesigned Mirai in connection to the Olympics. In March of this year, one example of the latest Toyota Mirai was presented to the IOC president Thomas Bach. For an event that was marketed by some as the “Hydrogen Olympics” with the Olympic flame was sustained using the gas, Toyota has also invested heavily on potential of hydrogen-powered vehicles while much of the auto industry has been seeing the future of motoring in battery-electric vehicles.



Toyota’s Battery-Electric Personal Mobility Vehicles


Photo Credit: Toyota Motor Corporation



 

Maximum Planned Vehicles Announced for Olympics in 2019: 300

Total Vehicles in Use at 2021 Games: 209

 



Toyota introduced a collection of three small battery-electric devices included in their 2019 vehicle plans for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games designed to improve transportation within the venue.


Created for use by security and medical staff at the games, the Standing Type device is a three-wheeled battery-electric low-speed vehicle capable of speeds up to 10 kilometers per hour with a maximum travel range of 14 kilometers on a single electric charge. The other two vehicles that were part of Toyota’s Olympic fleet were purposed mainly to aid people with mobility challenges. The Seated Type battery-electric vehicle would provide easier travel for people with walking difficulty while a Wheelchair-linked Type is designed to work in conjunction with manual wheelchairs. Each of these smaller mobility solutions featured variable speed selectors as well as utilize a swappable battery pack taking between 2 hours and 2.5 hours to recharge.


For the 2021 games, 209 examples of the Standing Type BEV devices were used.



Toyota Concept-i


Photo Credit: Toyota Motor Corporation



 

Maximum Planned Vehicles Announced for Olympics in 2019: 2

Total Vehicles in Use at 2021 Games: 2


Debuting at the 2017 edition of the Tokyo Motor Show, the Toyota Concept-i was introduced to audiences part of a series of three vehicles (one of which resembled the previously-mention, battery-electric Standing Type mobility device). Measuring 4,510 millimeters (177.56 inches) in length, the Concept-i is a four-passenger battery-electric vehicle modelled after technology developed on the philosophy of LEARN, PROTECT and INSPIRE working with an AI called “Agent”. LEARN consists of collecting a full array of data from the driver and vehicle occupants through some extraordinary means including the conversations inside the car to tailor itself to individuals. Autonomous driving technology and solutions designed to stimulate the driver’s senses for greater alertness delivering on the PROTECT aspect of the vehicle. For INSPIRE, the Toyota Concept-i analyses the driver through engaging them with topics of interest and collects maps based on the driver’s perceived emotions as well as GPS data. The Concept-i’s interior is a spacious, futuristic cabin with an instrument panel with an Agent in the center.


During the Women and Men marathon events at the Tokyo Summer Olympic Games, the one of two Toyota Concept-i vehicles could be seen as one of the vehicles leading the runners around the course.

 


Toyota APM (Accessible People Mover)


Photo Credit: Toyota Motor Corporation



 

Maximum Planned Vehicles Announced for Olympics in 2019: 200

Total Vehicles in Use at 2021 Games: ?

 

Toyota’s APM (Accessible People Mover) vehicle was announced in 2019 as planned component for transportation around the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Summer Games. Intending to have roughly 200 APMs at the event, Toyota developed two configurations for the battery-electric machine. The Basic version of the Toyota APM was suited for transporting guests with mobility issues. Up to five passengers or one wheelchair and two passengers could be loaded onto the vehicle in Basic trim. A Relief model of the APM was devised to aid in moving injured people with room for a stretcher and two relief staff.


During the women’s rugby sevens pool B match between Canada and Fiji, one of the Toyota APM Relief models was used to aid the injured Canadian Keyara Wardley off the field.



Toyota e-Palette


Photo Credit: Toyota Motor Corporation



 

Maximum Planned Vehicles Announced for Olympics in 2019: 20

Total Vehicles in Use at 2021 Games: 17

 

Despite being outnumbered on the Mirai hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and the low-speed battery-electric vehicles, the e-Palette proved to be Toyota’s greatest standout at this recently concluded Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo. Capable of carrying up to 20 passengers, Toyota’s “Tokyo 2020 version” of the e-Palette fully electric vehicles are designed with a low floor ideal for wheelchair accessibility.


Introduced to the world at 2018 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, the Toyota e-Palette concept presented a radical battery-electric platform. While demonstrating a potential direction for multi-person transit for the Olympics in Tokyo, the Toyota e-Palette concept has been devised as a highly flexible vehicle that could be adapted to serve businesses. Envisioned not only as a delivery vehicle, the e-Palette’s proposed business applications could be as office space, retail space and even as a hotel room.


During the Olympics in Japan, a loop-line bus route was arranged for the use of the Toyota e-Palette vehicles for the movement of athletes, coaches and staff in the Olympic village. Though the e-Palette utilizes fully autonomous driving technology, an operator was present inside each vehicle overseeing function of the automated systems.

 

There were 17 e-Palette vehicles operating during the Tokyo Olympic Summer Games according to the press office. However, a Toyota Times news blog covering the auto company’s president Akio Toyoda visit to the opening ceremony day mentioned there were 16 of these autonomous vehicles in use.




 

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