The upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games next year will not just be a spectacle of sporting skills, it will be a showcase of human technological advancements as well. Toyota e-Palette special edition electric autonomous vehicles will transport athletes and support staff in and around the Olympic village. Toyota had earlier confirmed that a set of robots will be deployed to assist the public and the staff.
In its concept form, the Toyota e-Palette was first presented to the world at CES last year. A total of up to twenty special edition e-Palettes will be supplied for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020.
Toyota “Tokyo 2020 Version” e-Palette features
The special edition vehicles sport a symmetrical cube-shaped design. The wheels are located at each corner. It has large sliding doors and low floors with electrical ramps.
The interiors are color contrasted to assist those who are color blind. The seating is either in the form of a bench or individual lift-up style. This ensures enough room for up to four wheelchairs and seven standing passengers at a time.
Toyota “Tokyo 2020 Version” e-Palette autonomous features
Although a safety operator (read human) will be on board in case he needs to take matter in his own hands, the e-Palette will otherwise be controlled by an automated driving system. It makes use of multiple cameras, LIDAR, and a 3D mapping and control software to achieve Level 4 autonomy. The autonomous vehicle can achieve a maximum speed of 19 km/h. A single battery charge will last for around 150 km.
To quote Takahiro Muta, development leader for the unique version of the “Tokyo 2020 Version” e-Palette,
“Olympic and Paralympic athletes work tirelessly to achieve the impossible, and we wanted to provide them with a vehicle specifically designed and calibrated to fit their mobility needs during Tokyo 2020. Throughout the development process, athletes, especially Paralympians, helped us to better understand how we could adapt and upgrade the e-Palette to better meet the need for simple, convenient and comfortable mobility. We are proud to work with them on a vehicle that will not just move athletes physically throughout the Olympic and Paralympic villages but will also offer them new opportunities to interact with others, share new experiences, and be moved emotionally.”