Toyota hits the digital open road with cruisy Camatte Journey kid's tourer
Millennials can keep their #vanlife; today's generation of young children has #toyroadsterlife. The latest car in Toyota's ongoing series of kid's concept cars, the Camatte Journey is an open-air tourer that's ready to escape Tokyo and zip through sleepy countrysides and up twisty mountain roads. An accompanying digital simulator lets kids experience the thrill of auto touring in a more meaningful way.
Toyota has debuted a Camatte toy car at each of the past seven International Tokyo Toy Shows. The series was created with the intention of instilling in children a sense of excitement and wonder about automobiles and driving – the type of excitement that many of us experienced in our formative years but has been lost somewhere in a world of touchscreens, social media and ride-sharing.
Based on looks alone, we'd say the Camatte Journey could be the most successful yet at evoking a sense of the boundless possibilities of automotive travel. What else says wonder and driving excitement like a roadster all packed up and ready to drive for days, weeks or months?
A simple update to last year's Camatte Petta roadster, the Camatte Journey includes a suitcase on the trunk rack and souvenir stickers all over from stops along the way. The 121-in-long (3,075-mm) toy roadster has three seats and an electric motor.
Blending the old-school aesthetic with modern technology, Toyota developed a travel simulator with a 220-degree display to go along with the model car. In a mix of physical and virtual reality, the "travel experience zone" lets children drive the car on a 23-foot (7-m) course into a sort of theater tunnel, where images of various travel destinations are displayed on the immersive screen. We'd guess many of the children who have participated are now looking forward to their next family road trips.
Roadsters and extended leisure travel are themes that have appeared on many Toyota Camatte vehicles. Roadsters included the 2013 Camatte57, the digitized 2014 Camatte and the aforementioned Petta, while the 2016 Camatte Capsule concept was a roadster towing a breadbox travel trailer. The use of digital technology to enhance the experience has also been a key component of the Camatte series.
Toyota debuted the Camatte Journey at this month's Tokyo toy show. The video below gives you a feel for the Camatte Journey travel experience.