The news of CES is mobility and Japanese automaker Toyota isn’t about to be left out. At the annual consumer electronics conference the company that brought us the Prius announced its mobile marketplace, e-Palette meant to open up opportunities for businesses to create on-demand services and to “blur the lines between brick and mortar and online commerce.”
It’ll be fully electric and support autonomous driving technologies either from Toyota or from the companies that use it. It’s an open platform for ride-sharing, retail, delivery, or really anything a business can think of.
“Just think how great e-Palette will be at Burning Man,” Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation said during the press event.
Toyoda started off the press event announcing, “It’s my goal to transition Toyota from an automobile company to a mobility company.” He announced the automaker’s latest competitors, Google Apple and Facebook.
The automaker already has partners for its new mobility platform. The e-Palette Alliance includes Pizza Hut, Uber, Mazda, Amazon and Didi. It’s not too difficult to imagine an Amazon locker on wheels rolling into your neighborhood.
While this isn’t a consumer product, it does show that Toyota is thinking about how it’ll transition to a world with fewer people buying cars. Toyoda said he’s “Less concerned with getting there first, than getting it right. For me, e-Palette is one such example.”