Toyota has joined the space race, revealing a concept lunar rover designed to drive 6,000 miles over the surface of the moon with astronauts inside.
The manufacturer has teamed up with Japanese space agency JAXA to design a huge four metres tall vehicle powered by fuel cells and bristling with communications equipment.
The car can accommodate up to four passengers in its 13-square metre living quarters.
The development is the latest indication of car manufacturers’ increasing ambitions beyond the internal combustion engine. Electric vehicles, self-driving cars and now space vehicles are on their agenda.
Should the concept vehicle make it into production, it will be six metres long and five metres wide as well as towering four metres high.
This is on a vastly bigger scale than the Apollo lunar roving vehicles – or ‘moon buggies’ – used in the early 1970s (and which remain on the moon).
Toyota isn’t getting in bed with Japan’s national space agency purely for the goodness of mankind.
The manufacturer hopes to learn data and techniques related to battery, solar and fuel cell technology and translate this into more earthly uses as well.