Scientists and enterprises have been studying human-computer interaction for long and autonomous driving is one of the key areas that is being explored. Earlier, Ford and Domino’s collaborated to test a pizza delivery system that is made feasible by an autonomous car. Most recently, Toyota came up with an idea of an autonomous vehicle that can be used in several areas like food delivery, logistics and taxi services.
Called as ‘E-Palette’, the unmanned Toyota vehicle was unveiled at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The futuristic vehicle looks like a box-shaped minibus and it is designed to meet the demands of upcoming smart cities and emerging urban infrastructures. Toyota’s E-Palette has been designed in collaboration with major corporations like Amazon, Uber, Pizza Hut, Didi and Mazda. By developing a robust partner ecosystem, Toyota aims to explore a large number of possibilities that are offered by unmanned vehicle.
Different sizes for different uses
The autonomous minibus will be an electric vehicle and it will be available in three sizes. The largest size will be used for logistics for hauling freight and for making deliveries. The smaller version will be used for travelling on sidewalks or small lanes. It is worth noting that the self-driving vehicle might not be riding on our usual roads and there is a high possibility that the vehicle will be used on lanes that are dedicated for unmanned vehicles.
Tech investors are already showing eagerness to fund the construction of interstate roads that will be solely dedicated to unmanned vehicles. It is clear that Toyota’s ‘E-Palette’ will pave the way for future electric vehicles that will be running autonomously.
Developments in Dubai
Toyota’s efforts to experiment with driverless vehicles is in line with the initiatives planned by various governments around the world. For instance, the government of UAE has already launched the Dubai Autonomous Transportation Strategy that will introduce driverless vehicles in Dubai by 2030. By 2030, about 25% of all transportation trips in Dubai will be driverless.
Toyota has already itself as a market leader in Dubai. If things go as per Toyota’s plan, the future will see a plethora of Toyota E-Palette vehicles zooming on Dubai’s smart lanes.