Toyota has unveiled a new mobility service business alliance and a fully autonomous electric concept vehicle as it shared its plans for a new mobility ecosystem at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
The carmaker’s ‘e-Palette Alliance’ – whose launch partners include Amazon, DiDi, Mazda, Pizza Hut and Uber – will create an ecosystem of hardware and software support that will allow companies to harness advanced mobility services using Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF).
The MSPF is the company’s framework for a range of connected vehicle applications, providing services from vehicle leasing and insurance to fleet management and big data.
Toyota also introduced its new ‘e-Palette Concept Vehicle’ at CES – a fully autonomous electric vehicle designed for Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) applications.
The company envisions the low-floored, cube-shaped concept vehicle being available in three different sizes. The vehicle can be fitted out according to the user’s needs, making it suitable for a range of uses, from ride-sharing to parcel delivery to mobile e-commerce. The vehicle might even be configured as a hotel room, according to Toyota.
Partner companies will be able to install their own automated driving system and vehicle management technology into the e-Palette Concept Vehicle, thanks to an open vehicle control interface and software tools.
“The automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change as technologies like electrification, connected and automated driving are making significant progress,” said Toyota Motor Corporation President Akio Toyoda.
“Toyota remains committed to making ever better cars. Just as important, we are developing mobility solutions to help everyone enjoy their lives, and we are doing our part to create an ever-better society for the next 100 years and beyond.
“This announcement marks a major step forward in our evolution towards sustainable mobility, demonstrating our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values including services for customers.”