Electric VehicleShared MobilityVehicle Telematics

The 'smart' city of Grenoble: Toyota's new move in the realm of mobility

“Ha:mo (Harmonious Mobility) -an innovative 100% electric last-mile car-sharing scheme in the city of Grenoble in France” 

Toyota_iroad_Grenoble_CiteLibThe current social trends and consumer behaviours make it clear that sustainable mobility is here to stay. The only question is how fast this market will develop and what opp0rtunities it will bring to the automotive majors and tech-titans. We have been hearing a lot about plans of  ‘smart cities’ being carved out while some already in their advanced level of implementation. For a city to be smart enough, it is imperative that the overall transportation infrastructure of the city makes use of the best possible technology without compromising with the environmental concerns. 

As a matter of fact, an average daily commute in Europe takes between 40 and 50 minutes. Increasingly, commuters use public transport, but most of them still have to walk atleast 10-15 minutes to reach their final destination ( it happens with me in India as well). But with new IT-enabled sensor technologies, paired with innovative mobility solutions, the urban transport can be made more flexible. Nonetheless, it will also lay the foundation for not only a smart city but a ‘sustainable’ city.

Guess what, its happening in the picturesque and splendiferous French Alps city of Grenoble, thanks to Toyota, Grenoble-Alpes Métropole, Électricité de France (EDF) Group and Citélib. ( Those who don’t about it, the Winter Olympics of 1968 was held here.)

Under this joint venture, 70 Toyota i-ROAD and COMS ultra-compact electric vehicles, and around 30 charging stations developed and managed by EDF’s subsidiary Sodetrel, will be open for service for a period of three years starting this October. This new car-sharing scheme will complement Citélib, the current car-sharing service of Grenoble, by allowing users to pick up one of the small EVs at one location and drop it off at another. The project also aims to promote interconnectivity of public transport methods (trams, buses, trains) and a new type of personal mobility using small vehicles that don’t take up as much space as a normal car. The main idea is to allow commuters to drive the first or last kilometres of their journey for increased flexibility and time-saving, thus contributing to reducing traffic congestion and improving air quality in city centres.  

A foreseeable mobility with smartphone apps

With Citélib by Ha:mo, say goodbye to stress and delays. During your tram ride, you whip out your smartphone. With an app, you can visualise the available i-ROADs at your usual stop. In a few clicks, you reserve and pay. Another app can also allow you to see the status of traffic and public transport before you leave, so you can plan the best route that day.

Once you get off the tram, all you have to do is flash your phone onto the charging station to release your i-ROAD. In six minutes, you ride to the charging station near your office, two minutes away. It’s 7:53 – plenty of time for a coffee before the 8:00 meeting. You just saved 30% of your commute time. Going somewhere else that morning? No problem. There are around 30 stations in Grenoble, a network tight enough to get you as close as possible to your destination.  

CiteLiib_Toyota_HaMo_smartphone_app

Besides providing the COMS and i-Road EVs, Toyota is also developing a data management system that will enable the visualisation and reservation of the vehicles. The system will integrate with Grenoble’s existing transport IT system to offer route planning with different modes of transport from a smartphone. Citélib by Ha:mo is Toyota’s second “Ha:mo” project and the first outside Japan.

So if you are planning to visit the Eiffel Tower sometime in October, don’t forget to take a turn to South East to visit this wonderful city and experience an all new era of mobility 🙂

Watch this short movie to get more on Toyota’s vision for mobility!


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