Toyota developing buses to serve as self-driving stores

These are some of the potential uses Toyota envisions for the e-Palette.       Toyota

These are some of the potential uses Toyota envisions for the e-Palette. Toyota

Toyota took longer than rivals to warm to the idea of autonomous vehicles, but has committed $1 billion through 2020 to develop advanced automated driving and artificial intelligence technology. The big reveal included simulated animation of the auto operating in a variety of different capacities, including training multiple together in convoys of urban light-duty transport trucks, picking up as four passengers for shared transit, or just one for a mobile office, acting as a hotel and even delivering food, pizza and packages without anyone on board.

The Japanese firm has created a concept called the e-Palette to demonstrate its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Meet the e-Palette concept, a cube-shaped self-driving and electric vehicle that wants to delivery pizza, packages, and serve as a ride-sharing vehicle. However, Toyota envisions a future where e-Palettes serve a wide variety of functions. A parcel delivery van, for example, would prioritise load space, while a ride-sharing vehicle would be given seating.

The vision is called e-Palette and basically is a mobile shop that comes to you.

The world's second-biggest carmaker said it plans to begin testing the eā€Palette concept vehicle in various regions, including the United States, in the early 2020s. Each e-Palette is also created to be shared between businesses and to quickly transition between applications. It is an upright, low-ground-clearance, multi-use vehicle designed for urban environments.

Toyota and Pizza Hut Monday announced a "global partnership", that aims to result in Pizza Hut pizzas delivered in autonomous vehicles. Proponents contend the technology will reduce congestion and improve highway safety, among other things. "In the future, with e-Palette, the store will come to you". As a key sponsor Toyota is planning to show off not only its conventional vehicles but futuristic concepts that include a drone-like flying auto.

Expect to see the new version of Mr Whippy at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics!

The team behind the e-Palette celebrates the debut of the new vehicle at CES.

Akio Toyoda himself introduced the very upright, not-cross-wind-friendly e-Palette, which can be used for any number of portable business needs. Not at all like different automakers that may have drivers hit a catch to change all through full self-governing mode, Toyota would have it work noiselessly out of sight.

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