Toyota introduces “e-Palettes”
Toyota Motor Corporation announced today a new mobility service, “e-Palette”, to tackle mobility and delivery services in the age of autonomous vehicles. “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”, said Akio Toyoda, Toyota Motor Corporation President. The e-Palette is both an announcement of a mobility alliance and partnership, and a physical concept of that alliance, a blank slate for a variety of transportation needs. “The new e-Palette Alliance will leverage Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions and a flexible, purpose-built vehicle.” Launch partners include Amazon, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber, who will collaborate on vehicle planning, application concepts and vehicle verification activities. The e-Palette is a fully-automated, next generation battery electric vehicle (BEV) designed to be scalable and customisable for a range of “mobility as a service” businesses. It comes in three different sizes, with their lengths ranging from 4 meters to approximately 7 meters and is purposely designed to be flexible and reconfigurable to accommodate a wide range of equipment and an even broader range of uses. Each e-Palette is also designed to be shared between businesses and to quickly transition between applications. The e-Palette could serve an Uber during the day and be quickly transformed for shipping packages overnight. The exterior appearance can also be quickly switched by changing the exterior graphics. Toyota plans to conduct feasibility testing of the e-Palette in various regions, including the United States, in the early 2020s. It also hopes to contribute to the success of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020 by providing mobility solutions like the e-Palette and other innovative mobility offerings.