NEW YORK – Toyota presented on Monday a new automated, electric, flexible vehicle called the e-Palette, which will provide various business services and which the firm wants to launch in time for the 2020 Olympic Games.
Toyota president Akio Toyoda unveiled the new concept vehicle at the CES technological fair in Las Vegas at the session devoted to information media on the eve of the opening of the key exhibit of personal consumption electronics.
Toyoda, the third generation of the family heading the Japanese vehicle manufacturer that is one of the strongest competitors in the hybrid and electric sector, said that although now you have to go to the store, in the future the e-Palette will bring the store to you.
The e-Palette can be configured by users to assorted individual and business needs including parcel delivery, ride sharing and on-the-road e-commerce.
With its special set of software tools, firms using the vehicle can install their own automated driving system and vehicle management technology so that the e-Palette can be used for various business needs.
The concept vehicle – part of Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) services – erases the lines between traditional physical retail stores and e-sales.
“It demonstrates our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values, including services for customers,” said Toyoda.
The project is designed as an alliance in which partners such as Amazon, Pizza Hut, Mazda, Uber and its Chinese equivalent DiDi are participating.
In his presentation, Toyoda said that the firm intends to develop a series of connected mobility solutions through the new business partnership with a focus on developing the e-Palette.
The company wants to make three e-Palette models available in time for the 2020 Olympics, ranging from 4-7 meters (13.1-23 feet) in length, depending on the uses for which they are intended.