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Toyota’s ENDO Urban Car Concept

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August 30, 2005

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August 31, 2005 Toyota is the world’s second largest automotive manufacturer and it has known for some time that it would not become number one selling automobiles as we now know them.

Over the last few years the Japanese giant has both entrenched itself in traditional automotive enclaves such as prestige motoring and Formula 1, while it has evolved numerous concepts for mobility solutions in the grey area where robotics meets personal transport – ranging from walking chairs, through intelligent transforming personal wheeled transporters. Two of the concepts to be shown by Toyota at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show are in this “personal mobility” area - the Endo and the I-unit. Emanating from the company’s ED2 design studio in Southern France, the Endo is an urban-friendly car designed to address some of the key issues of modern urban life, while the i-unit has been seen previously at the New York Auto Show in January this year and is one of the major attractions at EXPO 2005 in Aichi, Japan and is "a new approach to human mobility that enables the driver to interact with his or her surroundings. The design of the i-unit is "inspired by a leaf, a natural expression of life on earth."

Over the last few years the Japanese giant has both entrenched itself in traditional automotive enclaves such as prestige motoring and Formula 1, while it has evolved numerous concepts for mobility solutions in the grey area where robotics meets personal transport – ranging from walking chairs, through intelligent transforming personal wheeled transporters.

Two of the concepts to be shown by Toyota at the upcoming Frankfurt Auto Show are in this “personal mobility” area - the Endo and the I-unit. Emanating from the company’s ED2 design studio in Southern France, the Endo is an urban-friendly car designed to address some of the key issues of modern urban life, while the i-unit has been seen in various guises over the last few years at shows in the US and Japan and is "a new approach to human mobility that enables the driver to interact with his or her surroundings.

The design of the i-unit is "inspired by a leaf, a natural expression of life on earth." Stay tuned for an update on the incredible I-unit in the next few hours.

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About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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