As part of Toyota's e-Palette vision, autonomous deliveries will move goods from warehouses to homes. (Photo: Toyota)

Toyota imagines autonomous e-commerce deliveries through new alliance

Jan. 9, 2018
Toyota believes new mobility options can open a new world of possibilities for moving goods and people.

LAS VEGAS - Toyota Motor Corp. has enlisted Amazon and Uber for its futuristic e-Palette business alliance that it said could one day help make autonomous e-commerce deliveries a reality.

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota, made the announcement during a press event ahead of the CES show.

“It’s my goal to transition Toyota from an automobile company to a mobility company,” said Toyoda, noting that he views companies like Google, Apple, and Facebook as competitors.

Prior to discussing the business alliance, Toyota showed the e-Palette concept vehicle, which is fully electric and autonomous. During a series of illustrations, Toyota showed the shuttle-like vehicle being used to move packages and people, as well as being converted into a mobile casino and food stand.

The e-Palette would allow partners to install their own automated driving products, or use Toyota’s systems.

Mazda and Pizza Hut are among other firms who have joined the alliance, which will “support e-commerce mobilities,” Toyoda said. “That’s why we’re tying our mobility service platform into a common platform for companies to use in building new mobility businesses.”

Toyota said it expects the vehicle to be unveiled at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

About the Author

Neil Abt

Neil Abt, editorial director at Fleet Owner, is a veteran journalist with over 20 years of reporting experience, including 15 years spent covering the trucking industry. A graduate of American University in Washington, D.C., he began his career covering sports for The Washington Post newspaper, followed by a position in the newsroom of America Online (AOL) and then both reporting and leadership roles at Transport Topics. Abt is based out of Portland, Oregon.

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