Toyota Exploring Designs for Future City Mobility
It is complex to determine what transport will be like in the coming decades. Will autonomous driving finally be completed? How far will smart cars go? In this still so uncertain scenario and in which advances and connectivity in vehicles occur frequently and at high speed, Toyota wants to contribute its grain of sand. He reports that he designs several models, both city and vehicle, aimed at changing urban mobility as we know it now. The keys? Sustainability, collaboration and flexibility.
During his speech at the 2018 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Akio Toyoda, president of the group, announced several projects that left no one indifferent. Among them, one of the most striking was a new type of transport, electric and clean: the e-Palette.
Shaped like a box on wheels, quite simple and geometric from the outside, the e-Palette is an electric vehicle battery (BEV), fully automated and designed to be scalable and customizable.
Scalable and customizable by whom? Here comes the great surprise and originality of the vehicle: by different companies. Among them, Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber are already confirmed. The e-Palette is intended to serve multiple purposes beyond the transportation of people.
A Multipurpose Vehicle
Thus, the idea is that they can be easily converted into stores, catering services, parcel and courier transport, occasional accommodation and even workspaces so as not to waste time with commuting.
Their ability to move and change location also makes them ideal for mobile stands and health care points; It would save much of the cost of installation and dismantling.
The possibilities are numerous and so many that they are difficult to believe. In order to understand it better and graphically, the promotional video shows various situations. For example, a consumer who contacts a shoe store. Instead of having to move, the store sends you an e-Palette, which has been converted to a travelling business. Once you arrive, you just have to try the product and if you are interested, buy it.
We also see a worker who must move to another place for professional reasons. The e-Palette drives through it while you are on the go, and you can do your chores instead of driving. The last of the situations is carried out by a vendor, who places his products and they are collected to move them to a place of sale that looks like a makeshift market. It could be in the middle of a residential street or at a consensual point.
How is it possible to be so adaptable? The vehicle control interface will be open to companies to adapt it to their needs. In addition, its technology will allow it to maintain contact with a Toyota headquarters, Toyota Connected, dedicated to data management. In the following, they explain it to us with images.
What capacity will it have? It will be available in three different sizes, from four to seven meters. While this is a concept right now, Toyota and its business partners are likely to make some changes before putting it to work.
A new model of the city with three roads
However, there are already plans with a specific date and location for him. No less than in another of the company’s major projects, a new model of the city that will begin to build next year. Named Woven City, it will be a giant laboratory where a lot of consumer technologies will be investigated. We already talked about it in this article.
In it, mobility will be more ecological. And precisely with this intention, the city will have its own three-way system, different from the current one, and more efficient transport, which will be borne by the e-Palette.