Featured Image Credit: Toyota
Toyota is working on a car that can roam the surface of the moon.
According to reports, the car manufacturer has partnered with Japan's space agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), to develop a car that is out of this world.
It is named Lunar Cruiser, a play on the name of Toyota's popular Land Cruiser SUV.
Toyota is aiming to launch the car in the late 2020s, and is based on the idea that daily life, including eating, sleeping and driving, can be done in space.
Takao Sato, the head of the Lunar Cruiser project, said, 'We see space as an area for our once-in-a-century transformation. By going to space, we may be able to develop telecommunications and other technology that will prove valuable to human life.’
JAXA plans to send the vehicle to the moon on its own before it automatically travels to meet astronauts.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda said of the project, 'The automotive industry has long done business with the concepts of ‘hometown’ and ‘home country’ largely in mind. However, from now on, in responding to such matters as environmental issues of global scale, the concept of ‘home planet’, from which all of us come, will become a very important concept.'
He went on to say 'going beyond the frameworks of countries or regions, I believe that our industry, which is constantly thinking about the role it should fulfill, shares the same aspirations of international space exploration'.
Toyoda added, 'Furthermore, cars are used in all of Earth’s regions, and, in some regions, cars play active roles as partners for making sure that people come back alive. And I think that coming back alive is exactly what is needed in this project.'
'I am extremely happy that, for this project, expectations have been placed on the thus-far developed durability and driving performance of Toyota vehicles and on our fuel cell environmental technologies.'
Another company, Gitai Japan Inc, has developed a robot arm for the cruiser, which will perform routine inspection and maintenance checks.
Officials has said that the car could help people live on Mars by 2040.
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