While the Rugby World Cup currently taking place in Japan is the big sporting event of the moment, next year the country’s capital will play host to the 2020 Olympics.
We’ve already seen the medals that athletes will be competing for, the majority of which were made from recycled materials, and now Toyota has showcased the electric vehicles that will be ferrying athletes to and from events next year.
The EV in question is called the e-Palette, and the Japanese carmaker plans to have 20 of them on-hand to transport athletes during the Olympics, as well as the Paralympic Games happening later in the year.
The e-Palettes will travel on a designated route so as not to interfere with regular traffic, and have a restricted speed of 19km/h. The e-Palette is also autonomous (level 4), which means it will be able to navigate an area independently.
For those wondering the next level up would be a series of self-driving cars all working within a controlled environment, but the motoring industry is still a few years off from that happening.
Shifting back to the e-Palette, the EV features the ability to be customised according to passenger needs, which will be of importance when the Paralympics take place. To that end the vehicle has capacity for up to four athletes in wheelchairs, along with an electric ramp to aid with getting in and out of the e-Palette.
For now Toyota has not stated whether it plans to roll out the e-Palette for more commercial use, but we can certainly see this kind of solution working in university or business campuses which feature more controlled environment for autonomous EVs to operate.
If you want to see what the real e-Palette will look like (and not the renders seen here), the car will be on display at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month, starting on 24th October.