Toyota e-Palette Concept Bows At CES

JAN 10 2018 BY CHRIS BRUCE 9

Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber have already signed on as partners in the project.

The future of automobiles might not be very pretty – at least aesthetically – if Toyota gets its way. At this year’s CES, the automotive giant has unveiled the boxy e-Palette Concept as the shape of the firm’s future autonomous mobility service. Major companies like Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber have already signed on as partners in this project.

The e-Palette Concept is simply a box on wheels, and Toyota would offer the body in three lengths from 13 feet (4 meters) to 23 feet (7 meters). While this isn’t visually interesting, it fits the vehicle’s purpose of being extremely versatile. The tall size and lack of curves maximize what can fit into the concept – like Uber packing people inside or Pizza Hut stacking stuffed crust pies to the roof. The partners is free to outfit the interior however they please.

Toyota intends to work with its partners to create a business ecosystem around e-Palette. The vehicle would as the basic building block but be highly scalable.. The companies would be free to create hardware and software to fit their individual needs. The firm’s wouldn’t even need to use Toyota’s self-driving tech, and firms would be free to install their own systems.

Partnering with Toyota on the e-Palette project would come with the advantage of shared data. Each one would send information back to the Toyota Big Data Center, where clients would be able to do tasks like handle payments, monitor the state of the vehicle, or schedule service at Toyota dealers.

Don’t look to get your next pizza from an e-Palette, though, because feasibility tests of the boxy vehicle don’t begin until 2020. Toyota will even have them at the Olympics in Tokyo that year.

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9 Comments on "Toyota e-Palette Concept Bows At CES"

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The Dude
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The Dude

Ha, just like their current fleet of vehicles that some look like they have been wrecked when you buy them. They give bonuses to designers based on how ugly the vehicles are.

John Doe
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John Doe

I kind of think this will be a solution on campuses, larger workplaces, and inner city use. Frequent departures, smaller units.
Will be practical and cheap(ish).

Will not go fast though, since they stand up.
Turns, breaking and so on.

The commercial product will for sure have seats for all, and belts.. right?

No matter how automatic these will be, they may be struck by a Taho/Hummer like vehicle doing 60.. Physics will make those people fly.

John
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John

That’s great, but I wonder what happens to the standing passengers in the event of an accident? Doesn’t look like anyone’s restrained.

ItsNotAboutTheMoney
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ItsNotAboutTheMoney

Same thing as happens to people standing on buses and trains.

John
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John

Most buses I know of have seats. Ditto for trains. And trains’ accident rate is WAY less than autos.

Just sayin’..

Kosh
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Kosh

“While this isn’t visually interesting”

Who cares if you don’t own it? Form follows function.

Time to move on from the ego driven car ownership era.

Prsnep
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Prsnep

I can’t tell you how tired I am of people telling me how something looks, and whether I should like it. The commentary is even worse. Just give me the damn picture and I’ll decide for myself if I like it.

John
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John

I think that thing looks good and bad in so many different ways. You should think it’s bad and good, too.

Magnus H
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Magnus H

It’s a people mover. Its target is not the same people who obsess over how many milliseconds it takes 0-60 mph or argue endlessly over colour choices.