WHEN it comes to Japan there is always an expectation of something a little weird and wonderful.
Tokyo Motor Show 2017 was no different, providing a banquet of techy trends, and a glimpse into the not too distant future for drivers and manufacturers alike.
The theme Beyond the Motor focused on the future of transport and the role the industry has in developing it.
As is expected of Tokyo, a city of over 13 million inhabitants urbanisation and clean operation was a key focus. Electricity, automation and telematics standing as the three pillars of each reveal.
Even on the press day, the Tokyo Big Sight complex was close to impossible to navigate, as many dealers, guest and international press core took in the next leaps in tech.
In the trucking world the presentations and reveals remained relativity modest, apart from a major announcement by Mitsubishi Fuso, a concept piece from Isuzu and a scheduled release from Scania.
However plenty of tech that could be used to improve heavy vehicle drivers lives in the future, was on display.
Toyota Boshoku drew a crowd with their concept interior design, dubbed VODY.
The interiors, designed around the connection between the human and the vehicle conforms to the driver's and passengers' body.
As a driver stepped into the interior to be seated, the seat adjusted to mold around the individual, supporting the whole of the spine arch in a very Batmobile fashion.
Lime green bean concept car Flesby, will appeal to the bubble wrap kids out there. Exhibited by Japan's auto parts maker Toyoda Gosei.
The body of the single passenger vehicle formed out of an intuitive rubber system. The mole aims to protect pedestrians by detecting an impact and creating a buffer. It also features soft textured materials on the outside of the vehicle and LED lighting warning.
Actual rigs on the day were the rigid contingent, Hino, Iszuzu, UD, Scania and Fuso Mitsubishi.
Electric vehicles being the major highlight.
In an abstract fashion Isuzu trucks released a honeycombed concept vehicle, which strongly resembled a high tech microwave on wheels.
Titled the FD-SI, the light-duty delivery truck was inspired by the principles of the insect kingdom.
Isuzu says its designers focused on the "group intelligence" of insects and tried to apply that principle to the delivery vehicle, which explains it heavily honeycombed exterior.
A design replicated in the cargo space as hexagonal tube-shaped boxes, which the auto-maker says is a good compromise between strength and storage space.
Inside the cab, the driver controls and seat have all been centralized, with the steering wheel retractable.
Hino exhibited five vehicles including the new generation HINO700 series.
The Hino Poncho EV a light duty electric bus model already operating in some Japanese cities featured, as did the Hino500 Series Dakar Rally vehicle, a show stopper.
Scania launched its New Generation for the first time in Asia, this follows the European launch which took place in August last year.
Unfortunately no reveals on when the generation will be hitting Australian shores.
In what was the biggest launch of the commercial vehicle range, Mitsubishi Fuso gave punters its first look at their all-electric concept heavy duty truck, the E-Fuso Vision One which is out to rival teslas offerings.
Clearly already outstripping Elon Musk's Tesla semi which was delayed for a second time last month.
Speaking at the event Marc Llistosella President and CEO of Mitusbishi Fuso said the vehicle on display, a B model, proved the company was forging ahead with electric development and is much closer to release than a concept vehicle may be expected.
The E-Fuso Vision One has a range of up to 350 km in a single charge of its 300 kWh battery pack.
The vehicle also has a payload of 11.11 tonnes, which the makers say is a slight change of 1.8 tonnes from its diesel counterpart.
The company also revealed the eCanter it's all electric light duty truck which was announced just months ago has already hit the ground with some customers.
So watch this space, whether you like it or not manufactures are certainly turning towards an electric future.
Be sure to check out the next edition of Big Rigs for an intimate look at the new Electric Heavy Duty and what it could mean for the market.
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