Industries in Depth

Toyota has unveiled a crazy self-driving vehicle

Toyota Motor Corporation, displays the "e-Palette", a new fully self-driving electric concept vehicle designed to be used for ride hailing, parcel delivery services and other uses at CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., January 8, 2018.  REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Toyota has created a concept for a self-driving car that could deliver pizza or packages without a driver. Image: REUTERS/Rick Wilking

Mark Matousek
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Mobility

Toyota revealed a self-driving concept vehicle, the e-Palette, at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas on Monday.

The electric, box-shaped vehicle will come in three sizes. The largest will be around the size of a bus and be able to haul freight and make large deliveries, while the smallest will be compact enough to travel on sidewalks. Toyota envisions the e-Palette will serve a variety of potential uses, allowing businesses to deliver goods, transport people, or use the vehicle as a mobile storefront or office.

Image: BI

Toyota will design the vehicle with input from companies like Amazon, Didi, Mazda, Pizza Hut, and Uber. Toyota hopes to start testing it during the early 2020s and integrate the e-Palette into the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo.

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"The automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change as technologies like electrification, connected and automated driving are making significant progress," Toyota president Akio Toyoda said in a statement. "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."

In 2017, Toyota introduced a similarly futuristic concept vehicle that would have airless tires.

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