Business / Corporate

Toyota to showcase advanced autonomous electric cars at 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. says its e-Palette autonomous electric vehicles will transport athletes at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

The boxy battery-powered vehicle with no driver seat, unveiled in January as future transportation for use in a broad range of services such as ride hailing and package delivery, will operate in the athletes village, Toyota said Monday.

As Japan’s largest automaker by volume is accelerating the development of green and safer vehicles, it will provide a fleet of over 3,000 passenger vehicles for official use in the Olympics, including the Mirai, the world’s first mass-produced fuel cell car, and the Sora, a fuel cell bus.

Fuel cell vehicles are powered by electricity generation through a chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, a green system that Toyota has long been focusing on as a promising future technology.

The automaker also plans to offer connected cars with its hybrids, plug-in hybrids and other electrified vehicles. They will be equipped with wireless devices to give and collect vehicles’ data and analyze the data to provide smooth transportation.

The carmaker will also use the Olympics to demonstrate its Concept-i vehicle, which recognizes driver’s emotions and preferences using artificial intelligence technology.

Toyota, like its global rivals, is speeding up development of advanced powertrain and automated technologies amid intensifying competition.

“If someone wants to take on a challenge and moving is what is preventing them from doing so, Toyota would like to help tackle that problem. We want mobility to be a possibility, not an obstacle,” President Akio Toyoda said in a release, referring to the elderly and people with disabilities.