Toyota Wins First Edmunds Hackomotive Award at 2018 CES | Edmunds

Toyota Wins First Edmunds Hackomotive Award at 2018 CES


Edmunds proudly presents its inaugural Hackomotive Award to Toyota's e-Palette concept shown at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. As the automotive industry prepares to enter one of the most transformative eras in the history of transportation, nearly all major manufacturers are in a race to deliver on the promise of future mobility, alternative propulsion, and solutions to the most critical challenges to infrastructure. The Hackomotive Award recognizes the most innovative concept or technology unveiled or announced at the show.

The Toyota e-Palette looks beyond the traditional model of personal transportation by combining prevailing concepts that have been presented across the industry. This boxlike driverless vehicle will use a battery electric drivetrain along with next-generation sensors and software to safely deliver passengers, goods and services for seemingly endless applications. The large side doors will slide open to offer an access portal to a low load floor that is configurable for particular functions that include ride sharing, delivery of goods, mobile services, and on-location concessions and entertainment. The e-Palette platform itself will be available in three lengths that range between 13 and 23 feet.

Toyota will allow companies to use open-source software and interfaces to tailor the automated driving and vehicle management systems to their specific needs, with Toyota's Guardian technology ensuring safe operation. The expansive glass and body panels will have the ability to display distinct electronic graphics to identify each vehicle's purpose or company branding. Alliances with major companies have already been forged, with commercial launch partners that include Amazon and Pizza Hut, along with ride-sharing services such as Uber and Chinese-based DiDi. These companies will collaborate with Toyota to develop e-Palette solutions for their requirements.

As impressive and challenging as this all sounds, Toyota plans to have a fleet of e-Palettes in operation at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Edmunds took into consideration this audacious timeline, along with the platform's flexibility and partnerships during the award selection process. The Toyota e-Palette's near-term implementation and visionary execution gave it an advantage over competing concepts shown at CES.

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