Toyota unveiled its new C+walkT today as a shiny new solution to the age-old problem of walking.
The C+walkT (don’t ask us how to pronounce that) is a standing electric scooter with three wheels.
Unlike other three-wheeled electric scooters we’ve seen, this one wasn’t designed to do double-duty as a fun form of alternative transport. The C+walkT is strictly business and strictly for walking.
It’s being billed as a walking replacement – but before you start sharpening your pitchfork and heading to the comment section, keep in mind that Toyota is largely targeting those with mobility issues.
This isn’t meant to be a Wall-E style lazy mobile, but rather is intended to make it easier for those who have trouble walking to get around large complexes like shopping malls and airports more easily.
The C+walkT can travel at speeds of between 2-10 km/h (1.2-6.0 mph).
Don’t get all excited about that 6 mph top speed yet though. Toyota says the fastest mode is only for “experienced users”.
Helping riders before they are quite that “advanced”, the scooter has advanced obstacle avoidance technology built in to prevent collisions at top speed. The scooter scans ahead of itself and automatically slows down to 2 km/h (1.2 mph) when it senses an upcoming obstacle.
Show me a Wal-Mart wheelchair that can do that!
As the company explains:
“The C+walkT is equipped with obstacle detection functions that help avoid collisions with obstacles or pedestrians ahead. When the periphery detection sensor at the front of the vehicle detects a person or obstacle, the operating system issues both a visual alert on the display panel and an audio alert, and decelerates the vehicle to approximately 2 km/h, so providing support for safe riding.”
The C+walkT is powered by a 250 W motor and 272 Wh removable battery. The device isn’t made for the largest or tallest of riders though, with a weight rating of up to 100 kg (220 lb). It’s rated to support riders up to 1.85 meters (6 feet) tall, so anyone gifted in the height department might need to look for another ride.
For those that do qualify, they’ll find handlebars protected by dirtbike-style guards that actually wrap all the way around the front of the bars and connect in the middle. There’s no way anyone is smacking their knuckles while riding this thing.
Toyota has also placed an emphasis on making the scooter as comfortable as possible for both its users and other people around it.
As the company continued:
“The vehicle is designed to be ridden standing-up for easy person-to-person communication, and adopts a modern form that minimizes feelings of stress for people nearby.”
If you want to try a C+walkT yourself, you’ll have to head over to Japan. Toyota is debuting the device in its domestic market next month, where it will be priced at around US $3,000.
Dang it! why does Japan get all the weird new walking replacement devices first?!
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