Toyota unveils “smartphone on wheels” [VIDEO]

In anticipation of the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota pulls out all stops to steal the electric vehicle spotlight

November 29, 2011   by The Canadian Press

TOKYO—Toyota unveiled a futuristic concept car that resembles a giant smartphone to show how Japan’s top automaker is trying to take the lead in technology at the upcoming Tokyo auto show.

The automaker will also be showing an electric vehicle—set for launch next year—and a tiny version of the Prius gas-electric hybrid when the Tokyo Motor Show opens this weekend.

But Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, chose to focus on the experimental Fun-Vii, a so-called “smartphone on four wheels” at yesterday’s show preview.

The car works like a personal computer and allows drivers to connect with dealers and others with a tap of a touch-panel door.

The electric vehicle—still a concept or test model—doesn’t have a price yet, but it’s designed for short trips and work commutes, running 105 kilometres on one full charge.

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