The connected car space is emerging as a sector ripe with innovation and we’re starting to see some interesting programs here in Taiwan. Toyota together with several partners including Unimax (aka ASUS Group) has announced the roll out of 36 Electric Vehicles in Sun Moon Lake in Central Taiwan as a part of a tourism program. Starting April 25th, 2013 you’ll be able to rent one an Electric Vehicle
Hotai Motor Company who is the exclusive distributor of Toyota in Taiwan arranged to import 19 iQ EVs which is an electric vehicle and 16 Prius PHV which is a hybrid both were imported from Japan.
The tablet which was manufactured is by Unimax Electronic Inc which is a subsidiary of the ASUS Group is 7 inches and has a display resolution of 720p and is running an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor…think Nexus 7. The device is built directly into the vehicle so if you have dreams of getting one for your self, you’re out of luck, the tablet and the application aren’t going to be heading directly to consumers.
Interface is called the Advanced Navigation System which was made by Unimax. You can use it to find one of the 28 charging stations, tourist destinations, restaurants parking lots and hotels. The interface is divided into two sections, one for the driver one for the passenger. The purpose of the dual screen is to ensure that the driver stays focused on the road and the passenger and look at the map and check for interesting spots to visit. The systems satellite radio, navigation and GPS functions can be activated by voice commands.
The car can be rented using your EZ Card as the key, EZ card is a local RFID card and you’ll need to register it before you’ll be able to use it as a key. Renting one of these pint sized tourist traps is a very reasonable 99NT or $3.50USD an for 30 minutes and after that it’s 8NT an hour.
We’ve got a video here of the IQ EV in action in Sun Moon Lake if you want to check it out.