Smile Lock the Next Innovation of the Open Road Project

Back in the days when the motor vehicle was first conceived,  it was heralded as the emergence of a truly limitless means of transportation.  Compared to that spirited fanfare, what is the situation like now?

In a nutshell, cities are plagued by congestion, cramped parking access, noise, and other nagging problems. There is no longer a genuine sense of freedom, or liberation, surrounding the domain of urban mobility.

The OPEN ROAD PROJECT has emerged from such aspirations, the brainchild of the Toyota Mirai Project Department, a unit formed to explore the future of mobility.

The Mirai Project Department is a laboratory-format team, approximately ten members active,  located in the exclusive Omotesando quarter of central Tokyo.

Its mission is to probe the prospects of new value for the future.  The unit is engaged in prototyping not only for the cause of new mobility but also from the perspective of furnishing unique new user experiences grounded in mobility.

In this initiative, the scope of the work has been expanded to the perfection of an all-new mobility experience, envisioned to bring innovative new services onboard as well.

On the contrary, working through collaboration with Dentsu, the general public, startups, major scale corporations and other organizations, big and small that share the same vision, the goal is to instill an unparalleled degree of freedom in today’s urban mobility.

Using design thinking techniques one of the problems that were solved was parking. See the video below.

Moving ahead on the strength of constructive thinking, flexible ideas and the energy to succeed where others have failed, the Open Road Project team are determined to bring dramatic new innovation to both the realm of mobility and the future of our cities.

The next innovation in the Open Road Project was solving the electricity demands from electric cars.

Today, power is crucial for comfortable and convenient living.

But even so, constructing new charging equipment can be a mighty task. At the same time, there is plenty of electricity available in our cities.

Most all of the people living in urban areas, meanwhile, want and need to access such power. If a device could be developed to connect that power to the people who need it, clearing the way for mutual sharing of the power accessible around town, our lives and the society around us could certainly be enhanced.


SMILE LOCK OULET resolves this problem by recording data on the use time and specific users, furnishing a scheme in which customers pay only for the amounts of power they actually consume.

For outlet owners, power outlets frequently remaining idle can be used to generate revenue.

For i-ROAD drivers, the options for the charging environment can be expanded. In this way, a confident and happy tradeoff will be generated between power outlets and cash flow.

With SMILE LOCK conceived as a communications function equipped device, it carries on real-time exchanges with the server over the Internet.

Utilizing that capacity, the system steadily records use status, the identities of users, as well as how much charging is performed. This conversion to the Internet of Things (IoT) in power outlets has paved the way to the invention of this dynamic new service.

SMILE LOCK” is engineered to contribute to cultivating a society in which everyone is able to share electricity with full peace of mind. With SMILE LOCK, there is no need to install any new equipment, with use of outlets already existing around town helping to realize an easier and more comfortable charging environment for the i-ROAD.

SMILE LOOK, in other words, heralds the debut of a next-generation device crafted to realize the dream of “outlet sharing.”

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