Toyota’s Concept Cars are our eyes into the future of mobility – and it all begins with the e-Palette.
Toyota's e-Palette symbolises the global company's transition from carmaker to mobility provider, going beyond the scope of conventional cars to offer new services and value.
Development of the e-Palette also recognises that COVID-19 has changed the way people lead their lives, creating more diverse mobility needs. These include physical distancing between passengers and greater demand for goods and services to be brought to people, rather than people travelling to receive them.
To meet these types of demands, Toyota has developed an advanced e-Palette operations management system that is designed to reduce customer waiting times, ensure safety and alleviate congestion.
What is the e-Palette?
The e-Palette is an autonomous electric vehicle that provides practical on-demand transport services – catering to passengers, as well as delivering goods and providing services. Created with flexibility in mind, the space has the potential to be transformed into mobile stores and roving offices.
The renowned "just-in-time" principle that is central to Toyota's vehicle manufacturing processes, enables e-Palette vehicles to go where they are needed, when needed and on time.
An Autonomous Mobility Management System (AMMS) dispatches vehicles when required while a Task Assignment Platform provides a visual computer interface that enables easy monitoring of vehicles by workers at a control centre.
Schedules can be changed flexibly, with vehicles dispatched and returned automatically based on real-time mobility needs. When extra vehicles are required, operating intervals can be adjusted to ensure even spacing of services.
Any vehicle problems are automatically detected and returned to the depot where a replacement is dispatched immediately to maintain smooth service.
In an emergency, vehicles can be stopped and returned to service remotely, with an extra level of safety management to give passengers complete peace of mind.
When will the world see the e-Palette on roads?
Working with a range of partners, the autonomous vehicles will be deployed at Toyota's Woven City, a fully connected prototype city of tomorrow being built in the foothills of Mount Fuji in Japan.
This real-world testing will pave the way for commercial operation in the next few years with automated e-Palette vehicles delivering goods, services and mobility to people when and where they are needed.