TOKYO—Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's biggest and richest car maker, spent three years studying ground vehicles at the past two Olympics so it could improve transport at the 2020 Tokyo games. Now, a year before the opening ceremony, it has unveiled its bold ambition: Build a better golf cart.
Toyota's first dedicated Olympic vehicle, shown to reporters July 18, will be a van-sized, open-air, three-row, full-electric people mover that can seat five passengers and one driver.
Toyota dubs it the APM, short for Accessible People Mover.
The auto maker said it plans to build 200 of the runabouts to shuttle staff, athletes and special needs visitors at the Olympics and Paralympics when Tokyo plays host to global athletic competitions next summer.
The APM lacked the pizzazz of many of the future mobility concepts long speculated about by Japanese media. First and foremost, has been the idea of a flying car to light the Olympic flame.
Toyota itself said last year that some of its funkiest concept vehicles will come to life as real, road-running models during the games. They will include, Toyota promised, an operating version of the Concept-i, an egg-shaped electric vehicle that senses a person's emotions using artificial intelligence. Also, on tap: a working e-Palette, a boxcar-like self-driving urban people mover.