Toyota Launches the C+ Walk S, a New Form of Walking-Assistance Mobility
Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) announced today that it will release the C+walk S, a pedestrian-mobility-assistance model that is the second in the new C+walk mobility series. The C+walk S will go on sale at Toyota automobile dealers and be offered at rental and leasing stores from March 20, 2023*1.
In addition, Toyota has also improved the standing-type model C+walk T*2 as well as the C+pod*3. The C+walk T will go on sale in May*1 as a model that can operate on sidewalks along public roads in compliance with the revision of the Road Traffic Act that will take effect in April. C+pod became available for lease contracts on March 20*1.
Mobility for All
Against a background of Japan’s aging population, it was reported in a survey that approximately 20% of those aged 75 or older listed 100 m as the distance they could walk without difficulties*4. It was also reported that the percentage of those aged 75 or older who go out was 10% lower than those under the age of 65, and those without a driver’s license go out approximately 20% even less frequently*5. Physical ability tends to decline with age, which limits daily activities such as shopping and going out*6.
Toyota has continued to provide customers with a variety of options to bring “Mobility for All.” It offers mobility options to suit each customer’s stage of life, from the C+pod, which can be used easily as local transportation, to the C+walk series, which can be used on sidewalks. At the heart of this approach is the creation of a better mobility society centered on people. Toyota intends to expand the spheres of activity of their users, support their independence, and bring joy to as many people as possible.
Toyota is also working with corporations and local governments to research a new business model using the C+pod and C+walk series to address the needs of local communities together with Toyota dealers. For example, in cooperation with the local government, C+walk S has been used as a means to help residents and tourists move around Hanawa Town Station in Fukushima Prefecture since around April. Toyota will explore the potential of using these mobility vehicles to complement regional transportation in order to achieve a better mobility society.
The C+walk S assists people who can walk on their own but have difficulty walking long distances and for long periods of time. It is a three-wheeled mobility vehicle that can travel on sidewalks*7 and easily assess the road surface conditions ahead. The C+walk S shares the form of the C+walk series, which blends in with its surroundings and the city, and travels at typical human walking speeds*8. It is designed so that it is comfortable to use in walking areas, facilitating side-by-side travel and communication with fellow pedestrians. The C+walk S is also equipped with obstacle detection safety functions that help avoid collisions with obstacles or pedestrians ahead.
C+walk T, C+pod
The C+walk T will undergo a size and maximum speed update in order to comply with requirements for small and slow mobility*9 that can be operated on sidewalks (public roads). The C+pod has also been enhanced through updates to the braking sensation when stepping on the brake pedal in addition to regulatory compliance.
*1 The C+walk S will not be offered at all dealers and stores.
*2 The first standing-type model in the C+walk series went on sale in October 2021. Traditional models cannot operate on sidewalks (public roads).
*3 Changed to lease contracts in December 2021.
*4 Distance that can be walked without rest or difficulties by older adults/non-older adults, from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Handout from the 1st Study Group on Ensuring Mobility for Older Adults, “Characteristics of Living and Going Out Amongst Older Adults”
*5 Going out rate by older adults/non-older adults and driver’s license ownership, surveyed by whether the respondent had gone out on the day of the survey (weekday), from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Handout from the 1st Study Group on Ensuring Mobility for Older Adults, “Characteristics of Living and Going Out Amongst Older Adults”
*6 From the Toyota Transportation Research Institute’s Toyota City Policy Proposal “Proposal for the Creation of a Welfare Town”
*7 C+walk S falls under the electric wheelchair classification of the Road Traffic Act and is treated as a pedestrian.
*8 Users can set the C+walk S‘s maximum traveling speed via a speed adjustment switch. C+walk S has six different speed settings from 1 to 6 km/h.
*9One of the new classifications in the revised Road Traffic Act that will take effect in April 2023. Small and slow mobility are affixed with a certification mark (sticker). They are treated as pedestrians under the Road Traffic Act (cannot travel on roadways). Vehicle requirements: Within 120 cm (length) x 70 cm (width) x 120 cm (height) (equivalent to electric wheelchairs), maximum speed of 6 km/h or less, etc.