Urban Transport

Toyota's autonomous pod to transport athletes around Tokyo 2020 Olympics

Toyota's autonomous pod to tra...
The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will transport athletes and support staff around Olympic and Paralympic villages
The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will transport athletes and support staff around Olympic and Paralympic villages
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The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will be able to transport up to 20 standing passengers, or four wheelchair users and seven standing
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The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will be able to transport up to 20 standing passengers, or four wheelchair users and seven standing
Lights to the front and rear provide simple clues as to the operational state of the vehicle – such as lower red arcs to indicate that the vehicle is charging
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Lights to the front and rear provide simple clues as to the operational state of the vehicle – such as lower red arcs to indicate that the vehicle is charging
The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will transport athletes and support staff around Olympic and Paralympic villages
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The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will transport athletes and support staff around Olympic and Paralympic villages
The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will be capable of Level 4 autonomy
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The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will be capable of Level 4 autonomy
Large sliding doors and an electric ramps are some of the special features developed for the Tokyo 2020 e-Pa
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Large sliding doors, a low floor and an electric ramp are some of the special features developed for the Tokyo 2020 e-Palette
The floor, trim, seats and more have contrasting colors to help those with color blindness
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The floor, trim, seats and more have contrasting colors to help those with color blindness
There will be a human operator aboard the Tokyo 2020 e-Palette, though it is capable of Level 4 autonomy
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There will be a human operator aboard the Tokyo 2020 e-Palette, though it is capable of Level 4 autonomy

The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo look set to be a showcase for technology as well as human sporting achievement. Earlier this year, we got a look at the Games medals made using scrap metal recovered from electronic waste, and Toyota revealed its full line-up of robots that would be assisting the public and staff. Now the company has confirmed that its e-Palette people mover will be transporting athletes throughout the Olympic and Paralympic villages.

We first got a glimpse of the battery-electric e-Palette in conceptual form at CES 2018, with plans to build it in three sizes. Now Toyota is supplying 20 special edition models for the 2020 Olympic Games to ferry athletes and support staff around loops of the Olympic and Paralympic villages.

The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will be capable of Level 4 autonomy
The Tokyo 2020 e-Palette will be capable of Level 4 autonomy

"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," said development lead Takahiro Muta.

This special version will sport bench and lift-up seating inside, so that there's room for up to four wheelchair users and seven standing passengers at a time, and feature large sliding doors, low floors and electric ramps. The floor, trim, seats and more have contrasting colors to help those with color blindness.

The e-Palettes will have a safety operator aboard, but the vehicles will be controlled by an automated driving system that makes use of cameras and LiDAR, 3D mapping and control software so they can trundle along at up to 19 km/h (12 mph) with Level 4 autonomy.

The floor, trim, seats and more have contrasting colors to help those with color blindness
The floor, trim, seats and more have contrasting colors to help those with color blindness

Lights to the front and rear provide visual clues as to the operational state of the vehicle – such as white double arcs for normal running, upper white arcs to give way to pedestrians and lower red arcs when the vehicle is charging or otherwise not in use. Per charge range is reported to be about 150 km (just over 90 mi).

The Tokyo 2020 e-Palettes will be revealed at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show later this month. Development on the vehicle as a future "Mobility-as-a-Service" continues.

Source: Toyota

2 comments
Username
It seem strange to me that they didn't go with a chinese company.
paul314
I guess my car is driverless too. I'm just the "safety driver" who corrects any errors in acceleration, braking or steering.