Toyota has partnered with a number of companies to form the “e-Palette Alliance,” which is a group intended to help guide its transformation as a mobility services company, and determine how it makes use of its new e-Palette vehicle platform, which is a modular, driverless vehicle intended to suit a number of purposes at once.
The alliance at launch includes Uber, Didi, Mazda, Amazon and Pizza Hut, and works on Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform, which it revealed in 2016 and which works for offering up mobility-as-a-service, as well as for covering things like insurance and fleet leasing, as well as data analysis and gathering for usage and routing.
The initial group of companies will be working to help guide the direction of Toyota’s concept vehicle, the e-Palette, and how it develops and supports the mobility services it offers to companies as a result. Toyota discussed this as a way to help build a ‘common platform’ that all businesses and companies can use as a “plug-and-play” open platform for building out their own mobility services, which they can then offer to consumers.
The vision from Toyota is a vast one, that would ultimately see its vehicles deployed as a fleet of flexible service vehicles than can switch from logistics, to delivery, to passenger travel as part of a large, autonomous electric network.
Toyota plans to initially launch the e-Palette and the early results of its partnership with the Alliance at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021.