The scalable and programmable Toyota e-Palette Concept has made its debut at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The e-Palette is an electric vehicle capable of fully autonomous driving, and is designed to be part of the company's Mobility Services Platform, a cloud-like service that can handle vehicle tracking, management, diagnostics, routing, and software updates.
Its autonomous driving system can be reprogrammed by its owner to perform specific tasks or behave differently to the standard vehicle, although the underlying operating system features a Guardian module, which Toyota says "will act as a safety net to help ensure appropriate operation".
The car on display at CES is 4800mm long, 2000mm wide, and 2250mm tall. Toyota envisions the vehicle being available in a number of different sizes, with the smallest being just four metres long, and the largest version stretching out to around seven metres.
With its barrier-free interior space and low, flat floor, the e-Palette can be configured for any number of uses, including ride hailing, delivery and transport services, as well as being a mobile shopping or hotel location.
Toyota plans to begin testing the e-Palette in key global markets from "the early 2020s". The company says it hopes to use "mobility solutions like the e-Palette" at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The company also used CES to launch its e-Palette Alliance. Initial service provider partners, including Amazon, DiDi, Pizza Hut, and Uber, will investigate how they can take advantage of the e-Palette and the Toyota mobility platform.
DiDi, Mazda and Uber are also participating as technology partners in the alliance.