The Tokyo Motor Show is a biyearly motoring event and in 2017 this year, it will be open to the public from October 28 till November 5. Tickets to the event can be bought at the door for 1800 yen, or in advance from convenience stores like Seven Eleven and Lawson for 1600 yen, while entry after 16:00 costs 900 yen. It is recommended to go early and on weekdays if possible, to avoid the weekend crowds.
The theme of this year's motor show is "Beyond the Motor", which projects what the future of driving and mobility would be. There were lots of buzzwords like mobility, autonomous driving, electric and hydrogen fuel cell cars, all aimed at anticipating the future of motoring. Many of the newly unveiled concept cars tend to be electric cars with autonomous driving capabilities or equipped with assisted driving technology which allows nervous drivers to relax a little bit and let the car do its thing.
There are about 30 major vehicle manufacturers at the event with Toyota and Honda taking up a fair bit of real estate in the exhibition halls. In addition to vehicles, visitors can also look forward to seeing the latest in vehicle parts, machinery and tools.
Today, I got a preview of what would be on offer and the main draw for me was to see the new concept cars. I started off with Toyota which offered a large number of cars on display. The manufacturer is going the route of energy and fuel efficient vehicles to be ready for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Concept accessible vehicles were also unveiled, allowing for a greater mobility for people of all abilities.
Honda also unveiled a number of hybrid and electric cars including their Assist-e motorcycle which made waves online when a video of it was released about a month ago. The motorcycle is self-balancing and is said to share some balancing traits with another Honda robot, ASIMO. With many cars headed in the direction of autonomous driving, the designers wondered if the motorcycle could be headed in the same direction. True to the Honda slogan "The Power of Dreams", the Assist-e was born.
Other notable car makers like Mazda and Nissan also showcased their latest products. The Mazda concept cars never fail to impress while Nissan brought out their souped up Leaf Nismo concept car, a sports version of the newly updated Leaf.
Among the new vehicles I saw, one of my favourite unveilings this year would have to be the Yamaha one. The automaker's goals were to build vehicles for the future in their "Yamaha Future Garage", and the ones that caught my eyes were the two motorcycles; the Motobot Ver.2 and the Motoroid. The first is a fully autonomous robot that rides the motorcycle and capable of independent circuit driving, while the second is an experimental self-balancing machine that recognizes faces and simple verbal or visual commands to follow, stop or park.
Keeping to the theme of Beyond the Motor, many manufacturers and parts makers had virtual reality sets on site to simulate their new car technology, or simply to show what the future of driving may be like. Visitors can participate in The Maze at the event using VR systems but note that reservations-which can be made on your mobile device-are required. Other booths also offer virtual reality experiences and lines may be long for those.
The 45th Tokyo Motor Show 2017 is located at Tokyo Big Sight which is a few steps from Kokusai-Tenjijo Seimon Station on the Yurikamome Line or a five minute walk from Kokusai-Tenjijo Station on the Rinkai Line.