Toyota announces new autonomous concept vehicle

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The e-Palette has been designed for various passenger transport and business applications

A minibus variant of the e-Palette concept is displayed at the Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show

Toyota has announced an autonomous concept vehicle called e-Palette, which is designed to meet the demands of future multi-mode transport and business applications.

The vehicle was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, which took place from January 9-12. Toyota, through its proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) is planning to develop a suite of connected mobility solutions along with the purpose-built vehicle.

Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota, 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.”

Launch partners for the e-Palette include Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber, who will collaborate on vehicle planning, application concepts and vehicle verification activities.

In the near term, the alliance will focus on the development of the new concept vehicle. The concept vehicle which was unveiled at CES reflects one of Toyota’s visions for Automated Mobility as a Service applications. It is a fully-automated electric vehicle designed to be scalable and customisable for a range of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) businesses.

In addition to supporting the services provided through Toyota’s MSPF, the e-Palette’s open vehicle control interface and a set of software tools are designed to allow partner companies to install their own automated driving system and vehicle management technology.