There are all sorts of cool stuff being unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week in Las Vegas. In addition to its new autonomous driving research vehicle, Toyota is also launching a new mobility ecosystem and concept vehicle. Known as the e-Palette Alliance, Toyota plans to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a flexible, purpose-built vehicle. Working with partners such as Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, and Uber, Toyota plans to collaborate on vehicle planning and applications to help create the perfect mobility solution.
Initially, the Alliance is going to focus on this new e-Pallet Concept. It’s a fully-automated electric vehicle system that’s designed to be customizable scalable for a wide range of mobility-as-a -service businesses. For example, Amazon is working with Toyota to develop autonomous delivery vehicles for Amazon Prime packages.
The e-Palette Concept on display has an open interior design layout which can be outfitted with purpose-built interiors, tailored to each company’s specific needs. The concept is also designed to be seamlessly transitioned from one configuration to another. This way, a company could use the same vehicle for multiple processes, just switching configurations on the fly to meet their needs. Toyota wants to make the vehicle available in three different sizes to suit various needs.
Speaking on the alliance and concept vehicle Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation president, said, “The automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change as technologies like electrification, connected and automated driving are making significant progress. Toyota remains committed to making ever better cars. Just as important, we are developing mobility solutions to help everyone enjoy their lives, and we are doing our part to create an ever-better society for the next 100 years and beyond. This announcement marks a major step forward in our evolution towards sustainable mobility, demonstrating our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values including services for customers.”
Toyota expects to conduct feasibility testing of the e-Pallet Concept in the early 2020s. It’s hoping to use the vehicle in in the upcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020.