Toyota Developing Rival to Segway
Toyota Has Been on a RollToyota has been on a roll over the last few years, most notably thanks to the success of the Prius and their other small cars that are becoming increasingly popular due to gas prices. Perhaps some of that success has gone to Toyota's head, as they've decided to call the new "personal transport assistance robot" that they are developing--basically Toyota's version of the Segway--the Winglet. Yes, the Winglet. We're not sure why that name was chosen, but it's doubtful the Winglet will become as popular as the Prius (which, incidentally, is only a few typos way from being 'Pious.' Could that have been intentional?). Testing the Winglet--and Hopefully Seeking a Better NameIn any case, the Winglet will be very similar to the Segway, except that "it will come in three sizes that, like T-shirts, are labelled S, M and L." Toyota is already thinking of some interesting applications for the Winglet. A press release announced that
Practical tests of its utility as a mobility tool are planned to begin in Autumn 2008 at Central Japan International Airport (Centrair) near Nagoya, and Laguna Gamagori, a seaside marine resort complex in Aichi Prefecture. Testing of its usefulness in crowded and other conditions, and how non-users react to the device, is to be carried out in 2009 at the Tressa Yokohama shopping complex in Yokohama City.
Hopefully Toyota will move forward with the design and hold a competition to come up with a better name. As things stand now, it sounds like something one would order at a Kentucky Friend Chicken. . .
Via: ::The GuardianMore on Segways Beijing Olympic Security Forces Drive. . .Segways?Segways Illegal in the UK: The Guardian Asks WhyMore on ToyotaGreen Eyes on: Wanting the Prius 2010Toyota To Boost Prius Hybrid Production by 70% Next YearToyota Unveils Plug-in PriusSmall Cars are Hot, Prius Hybrid Waiting Lists are Getting Longer