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First look: Toyota i-unit redefines the meaning of transport

Crab on wheels: Toyota's space-age i-unit is a head-turner.

Toyota reveals a new way of thinking to relieve traffic congestion in 21st century

18 Oct 2005

IT MAY look like a giant crab but Toyota’s i-unit is the "ultimate in personal mobility". At least, that’s how the giant Japanese car-maker puts it.

Said to be modelled on a leaf, the i-unit concept was developed for Toyota’s exhibition at Expo 2005 Aichi, Japan, and includes a raft of new technologies.

For example, the body was built using environmentally friendly plant materials.

To get on board, the i-unit will approach when you call it from your portable terminal, while the variable positioning system changes the vehicle’s height depending on its speed.

Around town, it adopts an upright stance while at highway speeds it reclines for better aerodynamics.

Its personal recognition system recognises passengers by their palms and face, and the decomposable and recyclable materials and four in-wheel lithium-ion batteries continue Toyota’s commitment to, and exploration of, eco-friendly technology.

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