[CES 2018] Japanese auto giant Toyota unveiled a new mobility concept for retail and e-commerce called e-Palette. The e-Palette concept is centered around automated vehicles that can be customized to serve a wide variety of purposes. For example, one customer can configure it as a food truck while the other can add accommodation options to build a mobile hotel. The concept can serve as an on-demand taxi service, offer online shopping pickup, double as a mobile office, and even be a food truck. The possibilities are endless.
It’s an ultra-flexible platform that can be adapted easily to offer a wide variety of services. Toyota walked us through how the e-Palette is going to disrupt the e-commerce pickup system. The automated vehicle will come to the customer after they’ve placed an order. They step in, pick up their products, step out and the vehicle goes on its way.
A large number of these automated vehicles can be brought together to create an on-demand city, many times of services can gather and blur the lines between brick and mortar, retail, and e-commerce.
The e-Palette will be fully autonomous and electric. Toyota will also allow partner companies to use their own self-driving technology. Every unit can be reconfigured within a day to serve a completely different purpose.
Toyota has created an alliance of business partners called the e-Palette alliance to support e-commerce mobilities. The partners include the likes of Uber, Amazon, DiDi, and Pizza Hut. The company plans to debut the e-Palette at the 2020 Olympics.