Toyota Motor Corp. announced on Monday a new mobility service business alliance and a concept vehicle named e-Palette. With these innovations unveiled at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the automaker aims to “meet the demands of future multi-mode transportation and business applications.”
The alliance will focus on the development of the e-Palette vehicle, as well as Toyota’s mobility services platform, to be used “to help a range of companies utilize advanced mobility technology to better serve customers.”
The Japanese manufacturer listed Amazon, Didi, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber as some of its launch partners, expecting a wide range of possible applications of the self-driving car, from parcel delivery to ride sharing and e-commerce.
The e-Palette is envisioned as having an open interior design layout, so it can be adapted to the users’ needs. It should also come in three sizes to accommodate various purposes. According to the statement, Toyota plans to conduct feasibility tests of the vehicle in various regions, including the United States, in the early 2020s.
“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”, said Toyota’s President Akio Toyoda.