Yes, you read that correctly. Car manufacturer Toyota is working on developing a vehicle which can roam the surface of the moon.
In the age of space travel, as billionaires and philanthropists race to develop the latest space-faring technology, Toyota partnered up with Japan’s space agency Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to develop a car that is, literally, out of this world.
Named the Lunar Cruiser, it is a play on the name of Toyota’s popular Land Cruiser SUV. The company aims to launch it late in 2020s, based on the idea that daily life – like eating, sleeping and driving – can be done in space. JAXA plans on sending the vehicle to the moon on its own before it automatically travels to meet astronauts. Head of the project Takao Sato said that they 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.’ Toyota President Akio Toyoda said that the ‘automotive industry is now 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.’
Saying that the car could help people live on Mars by 2040, he said that the project goes beyond the frameworks of countries or regions. He believes that the industry shares the same aspirations of international space explorations.