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Apr 17, 2019,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

Space: Toyota looking to put an inhabitable autonomous vehicle on the Moon

Toyota is looking to send an inhabitable vehicle to the Moon. The automotive constructor has announced a new partnership with the Japanese space agency to design this craft which will be able to cover 10,000 kilometres in full autonomy. The first mission is slated to take place in 2029.


Japanese automotive constructor Toyota unveiled a project on Tuesday 12 March to develop an inhabited lunar craft, in partnership with the Japanese space agency. The first mission is slated for 2029.

The agreement signed between the two organisations is, however, limited at the moment to "envisaging the possibility of working together on space exploration (...) via the acceleration of their joint studies on an inhabited vehicle with a pressurised body, powered by a fuel cell".


Capable of covering 10,000 kilometres


Toyota had already been involved in a project in conjunction with the International Space Station, and is now looking to take a giant leap towards Earth’s natural satellite. The vehicle depicted in illustrations is a quite a significant size – the equivalent of two minibuses – and looks similar to a military tank.

Powered by a rechargeable hydrogen fuel cell, it is designed to be able to cover a total of 10,000 kilometres on the Moon, Toyota explained at a presentation at a forum on space exploration in Tokyo.

The mission is set to run for five years beginning in 2029, and is part of renewed global interest in the Moon, which was first walked on by a human back in 1969 by Neil Armstrong.


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Cover photo credits: NASA

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