Toyota iQ Goes Where No Google Car Can, Tracking Belgium's Narrow Streets

by , Oct 8, 2012, 4:08 PM
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Sometimes even the behemoths, like Google, need help from the little guys. Going where no Google Street car could go in Belgium -- chalk it up to countless narrow streets -- Toyota equipped its iQ city car with a camera to complete Google’s Street View for Belgium.

An impressive web site, called iQ Street View, allows residents to tag streets in their neighborhood that have yet to be filmed and submit a street that was neglected by Google’s car but accessible for a compact iQ. Users can also book an iQ test drive, natch.

Some of the streets posted are so narrow that it’s no wonder why the Google car and its numerous cameras had to bypass them.

Toyota will submit street images and data to Google at the end of the year to further perfect Belgium’s Street View.

Happiness Brussels created the initiative, which outfitted a Toyota iQ with a rooftop, 360° camera. Toyota won’t just visit every street that Google may have overlooked, however; the car will only record narrow and hard-to-navigate streets that Google’s car could never fit through.

In a  clever way to drive further attention to its compact iQ vehicles, Toyota is sending direct-mail pieces to residents living on narrow streets filmed by the iQ.

The mailer informs residents that their street was filmed by iQ Street View and offers them a discount to purchase an iQ.

According to Karen Corrigan, CEO and Strategic Partner at Happiness Brussels, “1.840 streets have been tagged and 3,000 direct mail pieces were sent.” Toyota has seen a 300% increase in test-drives for the iQ.

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