Toyota Demonstrates New PM Electric Vehicle

January 01, 2004 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor Corp. (Japan) announced its new Toyota PM (Personal Mobility) prototype car, which adjusts the position of its wheels for different driving conditions - and even helps you get out of the vehicle. The Toyota PM looks like a cross between a motorcycle and a mini.

The Toyota PM can be driven in a traditional car-like mode with the wheelbase fully extended, or in a city position with the wheelbase partially shortened and the driving position raised. The cabin moves into an almost upright position for entry/exit make getting in and out easier. The power comes from a dc electric motor mounted in the back, driving the rear wheels.

The PM also boasts a very tight turning radius as the wheels can pivot in or out to a much higher degree than a normal car. It is designed to communicate with other PM vehicles and can travel in close groups with drivers "chatting" when parked. Steering is done by two joysticks positioned on either side of the driver, and uses drive-by-wire technology.