Mobility and technology are critical parts of not just battlefield strategy, but the development of humanity. Vehicles of the future need to be less dependent on fossil fuel, but also smaller and easier to park. Last week, in Colorado for the Aspen Ideas Festival, I had the chance to step behind the wheel of such a vehicle.
It’s called the i-Road, a concept car developed by Toyota, and it’s a strange sight. There’s only room for one passenger, and there are three wheels — two in the front, run in the rear. The vehicle is electrically powered, able to go 30 miles on a single charge, and is limited to 35 miles per hour, according to the folks at Toyota.
The i-Road is designed for short distances in urban areas, a logistical and transportation challenge that will only stand to grow larger over time.
“Looking at population increases, we’re going to add another 2 billion people by 2025,” Jason Schulz, a business development manager at Toyota, told Task & Purpose in Aspen. “You look at that, you look at where people are moving now, a lot of folks are moving back to city centers, so that creates density issues.”
The i-Road addresses these issues by being small, sustainable, and easier to park.
“For us, it’s about providing mobility solutions across the spectrum,” Schulz said.
What’s more, it’s a ton of fun. I really didn’t expect the little thing to be as fun as it was.
“Part of our core is really about fun to drive, and you can see that resonate really well with i-Road,” Schulz said.
Climbing into the driver’s seat feels a bit like getting into a cockpit. It’s a strange feeling to have windows directly to the front, left, and right. With the release of an emergency brake, the start of an engine, and the push of a button, I was off in my pink i-Road, weaving through a course of cones at Aspen High School.
The turning is sharp, and the i-Road really leans into them like a motorcycle, even though it’s all done by steering wheel.
Schulz said the platform is a bit more safe than a motorcycle, because it is enclosed and protected from the elements, and that the three-wheeled platform lends itself toward stability. I really never got the sense the i-Road could flip over, even when holding down the wheel all the way and doing donuts in the parking lot.
Schulz said the i-Road is coming to American markets some time in the future, but as it’s still a concept, Toyota is still figuring out when. Pricing, he said, will be competitive with the market.
Watch the full video from my test drive below. I didn’t even knock over any cones.
Photo: US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
A former sailor who was busted buying firearms with his military discount and then reselling some of them to criminals is proving to be a wealth of information for federal investigators.
Julio Pino used his iPhone to record most, if not all, of his sales, court documents said. He even went so far as to review the buyers' driver's license on camera.
It is unclear how many of Pino's customer's now face criminal charges of their own. Federal indictments generally don't provide that level of detail and Assistant U.S. Attorney William B. Jackson declined to comment.
Carson Thomas, a healthy and fit 20-year-old infantryman who had joined the Army after a brief stint in college, figured he should tell the medics about the pain in his groin he had been feeling. It was Feb. 12, 2012, and the senior medic looked him over and decided to send him to sick call at the base hospital.
It seemed almost routine, something the Army doctors would be able to diagnose and fix so he could get back to being a grunt.
Now looking back on what happened some seven years later, it was anything but routine.
U.S. Army Cpt. Katrina Hopkins and Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Rogers, assigned to Task Force Warhorse, pilot a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter during a medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) operation at Camp Taji, Iraq, Dec. 18, 2018. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Javion Siders)
U.S. forces must now ask the Iraqi military for permission to fly in Iraqi airspace before coming to the aid of U.S. troops under fire, a top military spokesman said.
However, the mandatory approval process is not expected to slow down the time it takes the U.S. military to launch close air support and casualty evacuation missions for troops in the middle of a fight, said Army Col. James Rawlinson, a spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
The soldier who was arrested for taking an armored personnel carrier on a slow-speed police chase through Virginia has been found not guilty by reason of insanity on two charges, according to The Richmond-Times Dispatch.
Joshua Phillip Yabut, 30, entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle — in this case, a 12-ton APC taken from Fort Pickett in June 2018 — and violating the terms of his bond, which stemmed from a trip to Iraq he took in March 2019 (which was not a military deployment).