Toyota has revealed a pair of hydrogen fuel-cell concepts for the Tokyo motor show - the aptly-named Fine-Comfort Ride concept and the Sora bus concept.
Toyota Fine-Comfort Ride concept
Pitched as "a new form of premium saloon", the Fine-Comfort Ride concept is a striking futuristic people-mover capable of up to 1000 kilometres of driving on a tank of hydrogen.
Measuring 4830mm long, 1950mm wide and 1650mm tall with a 3450mm wheelbase, the six-seat Fine-Comfort Ride has been designed for maximum passenger comfort while achieving zero emissions.
The vehicle features in-wheel electric motors, with each rim positioned at the very edge of the body, combined with a underbody cover to achieve "high running stability" and quietness normally associated with a premium sedan or limousine.
Inside, an array of displays are accessible to the driver and passengers, including a massive widescreen setup in front of the driver, complemented by a smaller display in the futuristic steering wheel. The side windows double up as touchscreen displays, too.
The front four seats are a new take on captain's chairs, which can be arranged in a traditional passenger layout or turned into a meeting space. The seats supposedly allow for "flexible adjustment according to posture" - we think that might be Toyota-speak for "they're comfortable".
No details of the powertrain have been given yet, but you can expect it to be an evolution of the system used in the Mirai.
Toyota Sora bus concept
Transitioning rapidly from cars to buses, Toyota has revealed the Sora – not to be confused with the Soarer sports car of the 1990s.
Standing for Sky Ocean River Air, the name Sora acknowledges the Earth's water cycle, and likely refers to the vehicle's hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.
Headlining features include a peripheral monitoring system, with eight high-definition cameras fitted inside and outside the bus to detect pedestrians and cyclists, along with audible warnings to improve safety - much like a blind spot monitoring system.
There's also an 'acceleration control' function to suppress sudden acceleration and give more gentle progress from stops, which should increase the safety and comfort of passengers.
Finally, the Sora features 'automatic arrival control', which detects guidance lines on the road surface to autonomously steer and gently stop the bus around 3-6 centimetres from the kerb. Toyota says this system improves boarding and exit for passengers using strollers or wheelchairs.
Helping the Sora to stay on time is ITS Connect technology which uses vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) systems to support safer driving, bus convoys and priority at traffic lights.
Two 114kW fuel-cell stacks feed two AC synchronous electric motors, which are both rated at 113kW and 335Nm – giving combined outputs of 226kW of power and 770Nm of torque. A 600-litre hydrogen fuel tank is fitted, though Toyota hasn't quoted driving range. A 235kWh power supply system provides 9kW of external power in emergencies.
According to Toyota's press release, there are plans to launch a "commercial model" based on the Sora concept in 2018.
Additionally, the company says it wants to introduce over 100 Soras, mainly within the Tokyo metropolitan area, ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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