The 45th Tokyo Motor Show

Is this life beyond the motor?

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.

Friendly ladies at Subaru
The Super Formula and Indy 500 cars driven by Pierre Gasly and Sato Takuma (winner of the 2017 Indy 500 race) respectively
Got the see the plane flown by Muroya Yoshihide, winner of the 2017 Red Bull Air Race World Championship

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.

Inside one of the exhibition halls
Not quite futuristic but more retro, the Kawasaki Z900RS
Kawasaki Ninja 250 and 400 (in the back)
Mercedes-AMG Project ONE

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.

The BMW Concept Z4 in Asia for the first time
Isuzu's FD-SI, a futuristic concept delivery truck that I'm sure is part refrigerator, part bee hive
Harley Davidson bikes on display
A Gran Turismo simulator driving area
Notice anything interesting about the side mirror of the Audi Elaine, an EV and partially autonomous concept model

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.

Toyota Concept-i series for those in a wheelchair
Inside the Toyota Fine-Comfort Ride (FCR), a car of the future
JPN Taxi and the Fuel Cell Bus SORA behind to be ready by the Tokyo Olympics 2020
The third generation Century after 50 years. A car typically reserved for royalty and top politicans
The car with the phoenix logo
The GR HV Sports concept car

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.

The Honda Riding Assist-e revealed
The cute looking Honda Sports EV Concept

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.

Mazda's Vision Coupe, carrying some sleek lines
The next generation concept Kai, comes with new technology aimed at making driving simpler
Crowd at the Nissan briefing
Leaf Nismo Concept and the Nissan IMx, a zero emission concept car that comes with a self-driving option
Emergency vehicles didn't get left out either

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.

The Motobot Ver.2 cannot beat a human motorcycle road racer yet, but perhaps in time to come
That's the Motoroid balancing on its own

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 future's pretty funny if only some of us wear the headsets
The Tomica area is fun for both children and adults

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.

Tokyo Big Sight