Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
Toyota e-Palette autonomous pod

Autonomous Vehicles

Toyota e-Palette Combines Electric Mobility, Roving Billboards, & Pizza

The Toyota e-Palette shown at CES 2018 is all things for all people. It can be a transportation pod, a cargo van, a delivery van, or a mobile doctor’s office. Is Toyota serious? Companies like Amazon, Didi Chuxing, and Uber say they want in on the project.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas attracts thousands of weird, wacky, and wonderful exhibits from all around the world. At CES 2018, Toyota is showcasing its e-Palette, a battery operated mobility device that does it all. It can serve as an autonomous transportation pod for ride hailing or carpooling. It can carry cargo or act as a roving billboard. It can also be a mobile office, a retail store or pizza parlor on wheels, a mobile hotel room, or a medical clinic according to a report in The Verge.

Toyota e-Palette autonomous pod

Officially, Toyota describes the e-Palette as a “fully automated, next generation battery electric vehicle designed to be scalable and customizable for a range of Mobility as a Service businesses.” The module can be made any size depending on the needs of customers. Toyota expects to showcase the e-Palette as part of its mobility solutions of the future project at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. That’s actually an important bit of news. Up until recently, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles were supposed to be the transportation highlight at those Summer Games.

The versatility of the e-Palette prompted Toyota CEO Akio Toyoda to quip during a presentation at CES, “Just think how good e-Palette would be at Burning Man,” where the movers and shakers of the tech world gather every year to tell each other how wonderful they are. Is the e-Palette just a fantastical concept with no likelihood of ever seeing production? Apparently not. Major corporations like Amazon, Didi Chuxing, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber have expressed an interest in being part of the development process.

Self-driving passenger pods are not earth-shattering news anymore. Rinspeed’s Snap is also at CES 2018. Fisker says it has an idea for just such a vehicle, as does NEVS. They are already in operation in Singapore and at Heathrow airport in London. The next revolution is to take them out of dedicated routes that are geofenced to keep them away from other vehicles and make them capable of operating in the hustle and bustle of the real world. That sort of autonomy may still be several years away, but when it gets here, Toyota will be ready.

 


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Cars

Didi Chuxing and BYD had teamed up to build the first electric car designed exclusively for use as part of a ride hailing service.

Consumer Technology

Uber and Lyft are willing to spend $100 million on a campaign to classify their drivers as independent contractors rather than use that money...

Cars

KIA is reportedly working on an all electric micro-car similar to the Citroen Ami that would substitute for public transportation in an era where...

Cars

Anand Shah, Co-Founder of Ola Electric Mobility and SVP Ola, on the startup’s electrification mission.

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.