Toyota has recently begin testing its “Harmonious mobility network”, or Ha:mo, a service which is designed to help urban commuters select the most optimal means of transport based on public transport systems and traffic conditions. The system is divided into two parts, one which is focused on optimizing public transportation options for the user, and the other which is focused on a network of publicly used electric vehicles. Both components are brought together through an easy-to-use smartphone app.
Ha:mo Navi, the software component, is designed to analyse traffic patterns from trains, buses, cars, and taxis, and devise your “optimal transport method” based on real time information to your chosen destination. The ultimate goal is to lower overall transportation-system energy use, and to supplement the system with a highly efficient network of electric vehicles.
The second component is known as Ha:mo Ride, which is essentially a car sharing system utilizing compact one-seater EVs. Stationed at unmanned vehicle hubs (currently four in total with ten vehicles), the cars are booked via smartphone app for short-distance one way travel. Toyota is initially offering Ha:mo as a free trial service to 100 students and employees of nearby Chukyo University, but has aggressive plans to expand the service to 1,000 users and 100 vehicles. If and when Ha:mo reaches this point, a fee will be charged for the service.
Future plans already include the use of Yamaha electric commuter bikes to supplement the system. The Ha:mo tests were selected as part of the Next-Generation Energy and Social System Demonstration Projects sponsored by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and are being conducted under the Toyota City Low-Carbon Verification Project.