During the recent 2018 CES event, automakers like Volkswagen and Toyota revealed some exciting technology that they have in store for the near future. And after seeing Toyota’s idea, we think that its version of the future of automobiles may be effective and within reach but it won’t be the prettiest.
The reason why we think that is because Toyota’s e-Palette Concept, the firm’s future autonomous mobility service, looks like a mobile box. The thing is, a lot of large companies including Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Uber and even Pizza Hut have already committed themselves as partners in this project. So it seems like we will be seeing these on the streets a few years from now.
So what exactly is its purpose? Firstly, let us talk about how it physically looks. The e-Palette Concept measures from 13 feet (4 metres) to 23 feet (7 metres) long and looks like a box on wheels. But there is a reason for its lack of curves. Its shape allows the brand to maximize the space within. The reason why it is designed like that is so that companies like Pizza Hut can easily stack boxes inside, while companies like Uber can fit people inside these. But it really is up to the partners how they want to design the e-Palette Concept.
Toyota’s main goal is to work with its partners so that they could build a business ecosystem around the e-Palette. As you can see in the photos, the e-Palette is just a basic building block, but this could be customized to what the companies need. In fact, they could create hardware and software based on what they need exactly. They could also install their own system into it instead of using Toyota’s self-driving technology.
Well, companies who partner with Toyota on this project would have to share their data. To be more specific, they will have to send information back to Toyota’s Big Data Center. This is also where clients will be able to handle payments, check the vehicle’s state, or schedule service at Toyota dealers.
Take note though that this project will not be available until the start of the next decade, so do not expect one of these boxy vehicles to pick you up or deliver your pizza just yet. Also, the soonest we may see this concept in public will probably be at the 2020 Olympics that will take place in Tokyo. But we will keep our eyes and ears peeled for you.
Toyota’s plan seems really promising, and who knows, the near future may be ruled by these automatic mobile boxes. And perhaps more companies will join them too.