As an official partner of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Toyota will make 20 of its electric self-driving e-Palette shuttles available to the organisers. The vehicle is a new version of a model unveiled in 2018. With its specific configuration, the capsule can carry up to 20 Olympic and Paralympic athletes on a preset route.
Photo credits: Toyota/e-Palette
Toyota has announced that it will be making 20 of its e-Palette vehicles available to the organisers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The driverless electric shuttles will carry athletes on round journeys between the Olympic and Paralympic villages and can accommodate up to 20 people, as reported by Futura Tech.
Designed for Paralympians too
Able-bodied and disabled athletes have been consulted throughout the development of these vehicles. The Olympic version of the capsule-shaped e-Palette can carry Paralympians thanks to its large door and access ramp. The interior of the shuttle is decorated in colours that stand out, to make it easier for partially sighted and colour-blind passengers to perceive their surroundings.
The vehicle also features floor markings, easy-to-access seats and a number of support bars on the walls. The first version of the e-Palette was launched in 2018 and its use at the next Olympic Games comes in response to the organising committee’s desire to lay on a self-driving transport service.
Athletes and officials may soon be using flying taxis at the Olympics and Paralympics, with Paris planning to put them into service in time for the 2024 Games.
In the meantime, Toyota, in its capacity as Tokyo 2020’s official mobility partner, will be running its self-driving shuttles on a 20-kilometre route. The vehicles make use of 3-D mapping software, sensors and cameras to find their way around, although a driver will be in hand to take over in the event of an emergency.
Cover photo credits: Toyota/e-Palette
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