Junko, EV's for last mile is a great idea for metropolitan areas where they can be less idle. I have seen many cities (Portland for example) use the free version of this model with bikes (which are clearly painted / marked as city property) for commuters to use in busy districts. Certainly beats congestion and pollution.
Consumerization of the automobile market (a la electronic gadgets & mobiles) is inevitable as more and more of gadgets find their way into automobiles. What has begun at CEATEC will no doubt carry over to CES.
Actually, CEATEC has already become a big show in Japan where a lot of exhibitors and attendants gather. The curious thing about CEATEC is that it's been always a CE show combined with component suppliers. So, it is more than just a consumer electronics show.
That said, I find it fascinating that more and more automotive manufacturers began participating in CEATEC this year.
I think you are right on the money on Toyota's Insect. Toyota is rolling out a special program this fall to let those tiny EVs be the answer to solve the last one mile problem for commuters. While one can take a train or a bus (or both) to get home, and yet, lot of times, there are still a few miles from the train (bus) stop to their own home. Toyota thinks tiny EVs can help...
Hi Junko, you may be on to something here... do you think it is foreseeable that in a few years CEATEC will be the show where the big crowds gather as opposed to Las Vegas / CES?
Toyota's "Insect" brings back memories... years ago as a high school student, I used to read Toyota's "Wheel Extended" magazine where they were discussing the town spider concept to address vehicular congestion in metropolitan areas. Looks like Toyota's affinity to arachnids is hard to erase!
Drones are, in essence, flying autonomous vehicles. Pros and cons surrounding drones today might well foreshadow the debate over the development of self-driving cars. In the context of a strongly regulated aviation industry, "self-flying" drones pose a fresh challenge. How safe is it to fly drones in different environments? Should drones be required for visual line of sight – as are piloted airplanes? Join EE Times' Junko Yoshida as she moderates a panel of drone experts.