Toyota puts kids in control with Camatte Petta
The automotive landscape is changing, and autonomous cars mean the next generation of "driver" might only ever be a passenger, but Toyota is still trying to develop a new breed of motoring enthusiast with the Camatte Petta.
Rolled out at the recent Tokyo Toy Show, the electric Camatte Petta measures just over 3 meters (9.85 ft) long and 1.2 meters (3.9 ft) wide and has room for three people. The seats are actually laid out like a McLaren F1, sitting the young driver in the middle of the car, with room for two long-legged adults to stretch out on either side.
Young drivers learn how to accelerate, brake and steer using a simulator before they get behind the wheel. Having let the loose on the track, the adults sitting in the two rear seats can provide guidance about when to accelerate, brake and steer, although Toyota doesn't mention any driving school-style backup pedals for paranoid back seat drivers.
This year's "Petta" is the latest in a long line of Camatte concepts from Toyota. The original model was designed to encourage families to spend more time together, while the follow-up added 57 removable body panels for a bit of restoration-style fun. Last year, a cute little trailer was added to the mix – all in the interests in getting children interested in motoring.
The Tokyo Toy Show has has just wrapped up. The annual event is held at the Tokyo International Convention Center.