Toyota has revealed a new autonomous vehicle platform at CES 2018, the global technology showcase in Las Vegas.
The platform is centred around a next generation battery electric vehicle concept dubbed “e-Palette” that Toyota says is designed to meet the demands of future mobility-powered businesses.
Measuring 4,800 mm long, 2,000 mm wide and 2,250 mm high, the vehicle has an open interior layout, so it can be fitted out with purpose-built interiors to suit the user’s needs, whether it be for parcel delivery, ride sharing or on-the-road e-commerce.
Some of the virtual examples shown by Toyota’s designers include everything from a mobile hotel to a food truck and even a travelling 3D printing lab.
The Japanese manufacturer says that it eventually intends to offer the vehicle in three different sizes, with lengths of between approximately four and seven metres.
In the meantime, plans are afoot to conduct feasibility testing of the e-Palette in various world regions, possibly starting with the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.
According to company president Akio Toyoda, business partners who have already signed up to be a part of the new platform include Amazon, DiDi (a major Chinese ride-sharing company), Pizza Hut, Uber, and also fellow-Japanese carmaker, Mazda.
“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 Toyoda.