Inclusive Mobility for Smart Cities
Toyota WE is a project by Singular Entrepreneurs with the participation of IED Barcelona and Leitat that thought up for people with functional diversity that helps to make mobility easier for them in domestic and urban environments. The proposal not only addresses functional requirements, but also emotional and sensory needs thanks to devices equipped with artificial intelligence features. This means a revolution in smart city mobility through a system based on shared platforms for all kinds of users. The project carries the signature of a multi-disciplinary team comprising members of the Singular Entrepreneurs, students from the Undergraduate Degrees in Transport Design, Graphic Design and Product Design from IED Barcelona Design University, engineers from LEITAT technological center and.
Toyota WE is introducing a new mobility system for tomorrow’s cities that comprises two elements: the Toyota ME device for homes and the Toyota US platform for urban settings.
Toyota ME is a domestic mobility system that enables users to move around freely by becoming a sort of extension of themselves. The system is conceived to be a 360° mobility solution and is made‑to‑measure according to the user’s body, conditions and preferences. With the help of an app, the device is able to memorise the layout of the home so it can move independently and freely around each room.
Users can also customise it with features such as head or foot rests and four different handling options. Since it is a smart device, it can be driven using body sensors that detect pressure and a gyroscope, responding to contact with the user’s hands, using a joystick or through the app. Toyota ME is able to simulate walking whilst the user is seated, and also features several elevation modes, as well as turning into a bed-like structure to help users get up from horizontal surfaces. A great example of how artificial intelligence can be used in the home to improve well‑being.
Taking the concept outside the home environment, the team has come up with a revolutionary urban mobility system that is fully adapted to Smart Cities. Toyota US emerged after analysing citizen behaviour today and seeking to narrow the divide between different urban collectives, including people with and without functional diversity. The result is a proposal that comes with solutions for everyone.
Toyota US is a system comprising shared electrical platforms that moves autonomously around the city. Using the same app as the Toyota ME device, users can ask to be transported by the platforms and will be able to select their desired speed and dynamics. The platforms have been designed to easily work with the Toyota ME device (or not, depending on preference) and can be used to travel with other people by linking up two different platforms and syncing their final destination.
The Toyota US platforms are engineered to overcome any obstacles in their way thanks to a smart suspension system, which ensures optimal user comfort along with other services such as drone transportation, multi-purpose screens, sensors for autonomous driving and signalling LEDs. The idea is to have them parked and ready at different stations around the city, making them an urban element that will change city transport and open up a new way of getting around and interacting in the years to come.
The Co-Design process between Singular Entrepreneurs, IED and LEITAT
The project arose from a call to tender launched by the Toyota vehicle company entitled The Mobility Unlimited Challenge. Cristian Lago, co-founder of Singluar Entrepreneurs, had the opportunity to participate in the promotional videos of Toyota as an expert in Barcelona, being interviewed by his friend Martyn Sibley who was aware of the concerns of Cristian to create a new way to travel.
“We are in a new era where we can allow ourselves to realize the unimaginable, as long as we have the audacity to do so“, says Cristian. “The keys are simple: put at the center of the issue the people who will be potentially users of the product or service, let them lead the project, and from there build alliances with other entities that allow the project to be executed. In this way we can think beyond the usual limits”, he concludes.
Therefore, Singular Synergy decided to team up with IED Barcelona for the aim to promote a solution for people with functional diversity. “The chance to work with real users and spend time with them has been a fundamental part of the process. This allowed us to come up with ideas that would not have been possible without that close collaboration,” explains Raquel Llabería, a teacher from IED Barcelona and tutor of Toyota WE project.
The LEITAT technology centre also took part in developing Toyota WE, in keeping with their mission of creating financial, social and sustainable value through innovative projects. Experts in materials, sociologists, psychologists and economists teamed up with the students to assess the project’s feasibility and help develop the technology designed.
With this objective in mind, the student from transportation design Juanjo Masero expressed the need to keep the design open and able to adapt to every user’s needs and conceived like an extension of your body. “The chance to achieve easier mobility enhanced by customisation breaks away from the concept of a rigid, static solution, which is precisely where its added value lies. This tiny step is extremely important!” points out Masero.
As well as tearing down the barriers that stand in people’s way because of their functional capacities and giving people more freedom and physical independence, the idea also endeavours to redesign the future of mobility in our society. Though ambitious, this is a much‑needed step if we are to shape a more inclusive future offering equal opportunities for everyone.
Cristian Lago – Cofounder. Psychologist, Master’s Degree in Health Psychology and Research.
Daniele Furlan – Cofounder. Economist, MBA, specialized in SME Business competitiveness in complex systems
Ana Suñé – Promoting authentic Independent Living.
Fernando Sánchez – Psychologist.
Martí Ballada – Designer.
Marc Monferrer – Web developer
Francesco M. Lucini – Student on the Undergraduate Degree in Product Design
Renata Colmenero – Student on the Undergraduate Degree in Product Design
Pietro Locatelli – Student on the Undergraduate Degree in Product Design
Juanjo Masero – Student on the Undergraduate Degree in Transportation Design
David Leon Fiene – Student on the Undergraduate Degree in Graphic Design & Motion Graphics
Marta Vall-Llebrera Panades – Junior Transportation Designer
Daniel Ricardo Shicshi Luna – Junior Transportation Designer
Andrea Marchesi – Deputy Director of IED Barcelona
Raffaella Perrone – IED Barcelona Head of Operations
Oriol Gimerà – IED Barcelona Head of Development
Raquel Llaberia, development tutor
Marc Bayona, development tutor
Andreu Belsunces, research stage supervisor
Robert Thompson, development tutor
Sergi Carbonell, video editor and communication consultant
Sergio Martinez – Computer systems and electronics engineer. Lead researcher in smart systems
Jordi Ricart (PhD) – Electronic engineer. Lead researcher in electronics
Nuria de Santiago – Textile engineer. Product designer
Adrian Ortega (PhD) – Ph.D. in mechanics of materials. Researcher in multi-physics modelling and simulation
Iban Gonzalez – Senior researcher in additive manufacturing
Pere Badalló (PhD) – Mechanics engineer. Senior researcher in additive manufacturing
Gabriel Manteca – Software engineer. Researcher in smart systems
Sergi Ubach – Research engineer in robotics
Francesc Cortes – Automation engineer. Lead researcher in robotics and automation
Jordi Magdaleno – Robotics research engineer
Xavi Rodriguez – Mechanical engineer
Miguel González – Product design engineer
Gerard Musterni – Aerospace engineer. Business Development Manager
Rubén Barrientos- M.A in transport vehicle design. Senior industrial designer
Jordi Suarez – Lead engineer in technology integration and product development
David Gutierrez (PhD) – Energy & Engineering Business Unit Director