Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

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 and cleantech news coverage? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.

Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!

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 home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. 3000 years ago, Socrates said, "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new." Perhaps it's time we listened?


You May Also Like


The Nomad 1 e-bike from Velotric brings muscle, power, fun, and zero emissions to the daily commute (workout optional).


Electric vehicle news keeps flowing at a rapid pace (just like electric car sales). Below are dozens of stories we didn’t write about but...

Clean Power

USA seeks to catapult self into vanguard of ocean energy R&D with PacWave South, a first-of-its-kind wave power test site off the coast of...

Autonomous Vehicles

Parallel Systems bursts out of stealth mode with a SpaceX pedigree and a plan for launching the nation's railways into the space age with...

Copyright © 2023 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.