Toyota will be deploying a vast number of vehicles for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in order to move visitors and staff around the various events places in a much easier and more convenient manner. But it’s not just them that need to be transported. Athletes also need to be shuttled from the Olympic Village to the various event places, and this is where the e-Palette comes in.
Now, the e-Palette is not a new vehicle from Toyota. In fact, we first saw it back in 2018 at the CES as a mass-transport service vehicle. However, the one we will see at the Olympics and the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show will be the “Tokyo 2020 version”. The automaker has made changes and adapted the e-Palette to meet the various needs of both the Olympic and Paralympic village.
Some of these changes include larger doors and electric ramps to make it easier for athletes to board quickly and easily. Meanwhile, the interior has also been given a makeover in order to help colorblind individuals. Handrails have been positioned strategically to make it easy to use regardless of height. Thanks to the large interior space, the e-Palette can transport up to four passengers in wheelchairs together with additional standing passengers.
Similar to the original concept shown in 2018, the e-Palette to be deployed will also be fully-autonomous and can drive up to 20km/h. However, an on-board safety operator will still be there and can take over driving if necessary. It also has numerous features that allow it to communicate with pedestrians.
Toyota will deploy a total of 20 units of the Tokyo 2020 version e-Palette to move athletes around with ease. Hopefully though, we get to see it being used outside of the Olympic Games in the future.