Published: Tue, January 09, 2018
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Palette Is Toyota's Mobility Concept For Retail And E-Commerce

Palette Is Toyota's Mobility Concept For Retail And E-Commerce

As automakers across the globe race for the lead in developing technologies for the fearless new world of "CASE" - connected, autonomous, shared and electric - vehicles, there is a growing awareness in the industry of a need to change the mindset.

The website noted that the self-driving vehicles "may one day be used by Pizza Hut to deliver and possibly cook pizzas". Ride sharing transport could also share the space with on-demand meal deliveries. Toyota walked us through how the e-Palette is going to disrupt the e-commerce pickup system. Starting in early 2018, Pizza Hut and Toyota will jointly test dual communication technology in Pizza Hut delivery vehicles to capture data on driver patterns and behaviors. The e-Palette is interesting because it's both an announcement of a mobility alliance and future platform, but it's also by design the physical embodiment of that platform: A sort of blank slate for a variety of transportation needs.

Amazon, Pizza Hut and Uber are already coming up with ideas for how to use the tech, as is Mazda and the Chinese ride-hailing giant DiDi.

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Toyota hopes the e-Palette concept (or technologies very much like it) can be put into use during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

"My goal is to transform Toyota from a vehicle company to a mobility company", said Toyoda. Toyota remains committed to making ever better cars.

Auto companies from General Motors to Tesla as well as interlopers like Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo are racing to bring fully self-driving cars to market, and the payoff will be massive for the ones who pull it off first.

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Toyota is further working on extending its battery technology from lithium-ion to an all-solid-state battery. Each e-Palette is also created to be shared between businesses and to quickly transition between applications.

The partnership will use Toyota's Mobility Services Platform, which allows for management of various connected vehicles.

Internationally, Pizza Hut recently created a startup called Pizza Hut Digital Ventures, which it says is coming up with new approaches to the pizza restaurant and delivery business worldwide.

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Japanese semiconductor maker Renesas announced in October that Toyota had selected two of its chips to power the autonomous features in the self-driving cars it plans to launch in 2020. The project, unveiled at the CES gadget show Monday in Las Vegas, involves such companies as Amazon, Uber and Pizza Hut.

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