The "e-Palette" vehicle platform features a boxy electric-powered minibus created to handle deliveries or even bring retail services to consumers, but can also be used for ridesharing and other purposes.
In addition to supporting the services provided through Toyota's MSPF, the e-Palette Concept Vehicle's open vehicle control interface and a set of software tools to allow partner companies to install their own automated driving system and vehicle management technology. However, Toyota's Guardian technology ensures that each vehicle is operated safely and appropriately.
"This announcement marks a major step forward in our evolution towards sustainable mobility, demonstrating our continued expansion beyond traditional cars and trucks to the creation of new values-including services-for customers", Akio Toyoda, Toyota president and board member, said.
Beyond pizza, Toyota has noted that the e-Palette will be able to be customized in less than a day to fit other needs, perhaps pop-up shops and small hotels.
Toyota hopes for the vehicle to debut at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo.
Toyoda says, "The automobile industry is clearly amidst its most dramatic period of change as technologies like electrification, connected and automated driving are making significant progress".
Black Mirror has taught us a lot over the years... mainly to fear our increasing reliance on technology and that Charlie Brooker is eerily good at predicting the future.
The automaker said it is teaming up with a handful of partners, including Pizza Hut, Amazon, Chinese ridesharing giant Didi and Uber.