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Tokyo showcases C.A.S.E. – the future of cars

Japan is again predicting the future in car production, with the recent Tokyo Motor Show highlighting the industry’s new ‘in-word’: C.A.S.E. (Connected, Autonomous, Sharing, Electrification).

Indeed, major manufacturer Toyota no longer calls itself a car company, but a “mobility company”.

While Japan was an early hybrid car pioneer, its major automotive players have been slow to embrace full electrification. But that has changed, with Mazda unveiling its first all-electric vehicle, the MX-30 at the Tokyo event. New, too, were plug-in hybrids from Suzuki, Mitsubishi and Honda, and Toyota’s Mirai revamped fuel cell vehicle.

According to Climate Nexus, Japanese automakers are planning to invest over $26 billion in electric vehicle technology as companies like Honda and Mazda aim to fully electrify their fleets by 2030, and Toyota plans to get half of its annual sales — about 5.5 million units — from electrified vehicles by 2025.

As Japan embraces the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is advancing autonomous driving technology, too. Toyota revealed several electrically-powered autonomous minivans and buses at the show that could be potential transport for athletes and staff during next year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Panasonic’s Space-L, meanwhile, was “a driverless transporter for 2030”, a high-tech concept boasting 4K-quality hi-definition screens on the wall and ceiling, 22 speakers, air-conditioner units inlaid in the headrests and even aromatherapy. 

Nissan unveiled two EV concepts that employ the brand’s ProPilot 2.0 semi-autonomous driving tech which allows drivers to take their hands off the wheel; the Ariya, and the IMk. The latter is pegged as signalling the future of Nissan design: compact, zero emission, with seamless connectivity and high-tech driver assistance.

Meanwhile, Japan has also delivered its first electric hypercar, the $3m Aspark Owl. With an impressive 1.69-second acceleration time for 0-60mph, it has a 280-mile range and charges in roughly 80 minutes via a 44-kW charger. Only 50 are expected to be made.

 

(via Forbes, Jalopnik, Aspark)