‘Active Lean’ isn’t a diet supplement, it’s how Toyota’s i-Road electric trike gets around

toyota i road electric trike gets the green light concept 2
Toyota's i-Road electric trike is the Japanese brand's vision of future urban mobility. And here we thought it was a scooter built for Prince.

Cars like the Corolla and Camry have given Toyota a reputation for conservatism. The company’s latest product may change that.

Toyota says it will put the three-wheeled, electric i-Road into production. Don’t expect to see one Stateside anytime soon, though: It will be used primarily by Toyota’s Ha:mo car-sharing service in Japan.

The i-Road was unveiled at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, and it hasn’t gotten any less strange since.

A 2.7-horsepower electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack power the two front wheels. At around 660 pounds, it’s more like a bike than a car. Yet it has a roof and a steering wheel.

Despite its three-wheeled configuration, the i-Road can actually lean into corners like a two-wheeled bike, thanks to its nifty “Active Lean” suspension system.

The i-Road’s party piece automatically balances it during cornering, making it much easier to operate, according to Toyota.

A computer calculates the correct amount of lean based on steering angle, vehicle speed, and a gyroscopic sensor. It controls an actuator, which moves the wheels up and down accordingly.

On the more practical side, the i-Road has tandem seating for two, and gets about 31 miles of range per charge. Top speed is 28 mph and, considering that it has the frontal area of a Cobra gunship, we wouldn’t be shocked to see one illegally threading between lanes of traffic on a crowded Tokyo street.

The i-Road’s introduction will coincide with an expansion of the Ha:mo car sharing service, which has been operating in Toyota City since October 2012.

Toyota envisions Ha:mo as a prototype for a future urban transportation system that seamlessly integrates personal vehicles and public transit.

Ha:mo provides users with multi-modal routing information that accounts total carbon dioxide emissions and current traffic conditions, planning the most efficient routes possible, Toyota says.

Cars

From salt flats to sand dunes, adventuring off-grid in Audi’s electric E-Tron

Digital Trends traveled to the Namibian desert to get an early taste of the all-electric 2019 Audi e-tron. We drove prototypes on a variety of terrains, including dunes and a salt pan.
Cars

Watch this driverless Range Rover tackle one of U.K.’s ‘most challenging roads’

Jaguar Land Rover just sent its autonomous Range Rover Sport vehicle onto one of the U.K.'s "most challenging road layouts," and the automaker has posted a video online showing exactly how it fared.
Cars

Tread lightly in Bollinger’s ruggedly cool electric pickup truck

New York-based Bollinger Motors has unveiled an electric pickup truck rugged enough for work or play. Named B2, it's a boxy beast with unusual specifications. It has 520 horsepower yet it can tow 7,500 pounds or haul 5,000 pounds.
Cars

After Tesla’s ‘best car’ boasts, the NHTSA stresses its scale only goes to five

Tesla published a long blog post to announce the Tesla Model 3 is the best car the NHTSA has ever tested. The agency clarified that, while the Model 3 aced its crash test, its rating system doesn't go above five stars.
Cars

A public/private autonomous driving institute blooms under the Arizona sun

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey announced the Institute for Automated Mobility (IAM), partnering government, academic, and private organizations to develop self-driving tech and safety standards. Intel is the first private-sector member.
Cars

Ford imagines a future without traffic lights or stop signs

Ford is using vehicle-to-vehicle communication (V2V) tech to allow cars to pass through intersections without stopping. The experimental "Intersection Priority Management" system basically acts as air traffic control for cars.
Product Review

The 2019 Volvo V60 proves it's still cool to drive a station wagon

With the 2019 V60, Volvo argues the station wagon segment isn't as moribund as most other automakers say it is. The company goes as far as arguing we're on the cusp of a wagon revival, and the V60 is poised to lead the charge.
Cars

The supersized BMW X7 is coming with a grille you can park a 2 Series on

BMW will soon expand its lineup with a new range-topping SUV named the X7. The first-ever BMW X7 is shaping up to be the 7 Series of the SUV world in terms of size, price, and image.
Cars

Can't see all of a sudden? Our quick guide on defogging your car windows

Did you suddenly lose exterior visibility while driving because of foggy windows? Don't panic! Here's our quick guide on defogging your car windows in a safe manner while on the go, and a few steps on how to prevent them.
Product Review

Volvo’s redesigned 2019 S60 sedan is the best kind of remix

The 2019 Volvo S60 borrows almost everything from other recent Volvo models, but that’s not a problem. From its infotainment system to an available plug-in hybrid powertrain, the S60 takes the best bits from a lineup of great cars.
Cars

Carbuying can be exhausting: Here are the best used car websites to make it easier

Shopping for a used car isn't easy, especially when the salesman is looking to make a quick sale. Thankfully, there are plenty of sites aimed at the prospective buyer, whether you're looking for a sedan or a newfangled hybrid.
Cars

Are European-style self-dimming and glare-free headlights coming to the U.S.?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposes to allow adaptive LED headlights on vehicles sold in the U.S. Adaptive LEDs automatically lower headlight intensity when they detect pedestrians or oncoming vehicles.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: DIY smartphones and zip-on bike tires

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Porsche upgrades German factory to build Taycan electric cars

A Porsche factory that currently builds the automaker's popular sports cars will soon begin churning out Taycan electric cars. In preparation, Porsche is upgrading the factory to be high tech and low emissions.