Nov. 28, 2006: Automobile—Toyota Calty RLV
Summary: "As population in Los Angeles increases and more vehicles appear on the road, traffic conditions in the LA area continues to worsen. This traffic problem is the main focus and reasoning behind Toyota’s RLV (Renewable Lifestyle Vehicle) concept for 2015. The RLV is a lightweight, aluminum bodied, two-seat tandem vehicle that features an innovative collapsible track system and a split powertrain.
Most ‘Angelenos’ agree that only two speeds exist in LA: 5 and 75mph. Also, rush hour and no rush hour, traffic and no traffic. Thus, ‘tortoise and hare’…slow and fast.
The Toyota RLV identifies this ‘tortoise and hare’ traffic situation and features a new type of hybrid, ‘split’ powertrain solution. The vehicle offers a manual/pedal power mode and an automatic/electric mode. The manual/pedal mode is hydraulically driven and can be used in many different scenarios. Primarily, it’s used while in heavy, ‘stop and go’ traffic where the vehicle produces zero emissions. Also, the pedal mode is suitable for boardwalk, sidewalk, neighborhood, and beach applications. The manual/pedal mode also promotes LA’s lifestyle of health and fitness…all while functionally recharging the electric motor batteries. The automatic/electric mode is used at higher speeds and in light traffic conditions. As vehicle speed increases, the track widens for more stability via a unique telescopic axle."
Not quite Fred Flintstone, but close. This idea could help millions of commuters stuck in traffic become svelte and healthy again!
Except that it will never actually be produced. The idea is just that—a concept in pixels, created for a contest.