Yamaha has had a busy week. Following the announcement of its 2017 PW-X motor earlier this week, it also unveiled a pair of urban mobility concepts that are... interesting.
The vehicles are called the 05GEN and the 06GEN, and both of them have been designed to function in urban environments with the goal of creating connections between people and places, and people and people.
The first and most practical of the pair is the 05GEN, pictured below, which is arguably Yamaha's primary response to its 'connecting people and places' goal.
The three-wheeled Yamaha motor-assisted e-bike comes with a large sweeping roof, which folds down for storage, and sits upright - acting like both a windscreen and a roof - while the bike is in use.
A unspecified Yamaha motor give the bike rider power assistance when pedalling, while a leaning mechanism allows the vehicle to make very tight turns safely.
The bike's tyres are perhaps the set-up's most forward-thinking aspect. In association with German chemicals manufacturing corporation BASF, Yamaha has chosen the world's first expanded thermoplastic polyurethane, Infinergy, combined with Elastollan, for the tyres.
BASF told British Plastics & Rubber that the use of these materials "contributes to a smoother ride, as well as the overall design aesthetic of the tyres, thanks to the characteristic cellular structure of Infinergy and the ability to create a variety of textures and colours on the surface using Elastollan."
Yamaha says that the aim of this concept is to create a bike/rider relationship akin to clothing.
The Japanese company calls it "Wearable Mobility," which may not be as bizarre as it sounds. It says this tagline comes from "the concept of [the bike] fitting comfortably around you like clothing."
The fact that the roof leaves the rider open to the elements on both sides and behind, perhaps put any literal interpretations of that to bed, however, the 05GEN would perhaps fit very comfortably into many urbanites' daily lives - so we're safe, metaphorically.
In terms of Yamaha's desire of connecting people, it says that the 05GEN's open sides "reduce the feeling of distance between the rider and people nearby, making it easier to strike up a conversation."
How that differs from the experience of riding any e-bike or bicycle, we're unsure.
The 06GEN is very different to its e-bike brother.
Yamaha calls it a "Mobile Veranda," and you can see why. The lounge-on-wheels is certainly Yamaha's real answer to their goal of creating modes of transport that aim to connect people.
Here at ebiketips we're scratching our heads for a genuinely viable place where a Mobile Veranda would be a useful mode of transport.
Nonetheless, the 06GGEN, which - according to the photographs - comes with a wheelchair of sorts. Whether or not that wheelchair is electrically powered or not is unclear - though the entire vehicle does appear to be targetted at an ageing population.
The 05GEN is currently on show at the Toyo Ito Museum of Architecture, Imabari, Omishima Island in Japan until june 15, 2017.