Saturday, January 21, 2006

Future "Mobility" Car for the Aging Generation

Some of us are getting along in years, so we're paying a lot more attention to how we're going to cope with our "golden" age. Toyota has too, and they've come up with an interesting car - the Welcab - a cute little high roof station wagon that has a number of options for the less mobile. It's available with 37 different options, including swivel seats and wheelchair ramps, as shown in the picture.

Toyota Japan also offers the "TAO-Light II", a wheelchair made from car parts by one of its transmission suppliers.

According to an Asian Wall Street Journal article which appeared December 21, the engineers at Toyota motors have been learning from one of their other divisions, Toyota Home, a decades-old prefabricated home business, which has been offering various accessibility features. With good reason - by 2015 a quarter of Japan's population with be 65 or older.

These would be a welcome addition to a carsharing fleet, and a great option to the huge vans currently used by disabled service providers.