People attending the Tokyo 2020 Olympics who are expecting to see Japan’s leading technology platforms on display and in use were disappointed to learn that the Autonomous Vehicle Service that Toyota had promised would be a major transportation platform at the games will instead be a very “limited” service that will only serve athletes.
Toyota had said that it would use its e-Palette “shuttle bus” concept and that there would be 850 or more buses in services, so visitors to the games were expecting a robust multi-vehicle fleet that would transport people to the various Olympic venues fast and efficiently.
Instead, the watered down service that Toyota will demonstrate, will carry the athletes at the low speed of 20 kilometers per hour and each bus will have a safety attendant on board. This is a disappointment for those who were expecting Toyota to display Autonomous Vehicles (AV) that would be a step above those shown by Hyundai at the 2018 Olympics, or the electric AV’s made by French manufacturer Navia/Navya since 2014.
An interior view of a Toyota e-Palette bus
|Toyota’s e-Palette bus had been designed with multiple applications in mind|
The Toyota e-Palette platform has been touted by Toyota as an AV platform that had been designed with multiple-applications in mind, and that fact that Toyota as well as Japan’s other auto manufacturers have fallen behind in the race to build AV’s and other types of Robocars is a point being noted by others in the AV / Robocar manufacturing space.