Toyota is bidding to become a major player in driverless technology by producing a new autonomous vehicle platform that can be configured by companies it partners with.
The Japanese firm has created a concept called the e-Palette to demonstrate its Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). This features a suit of autonomous hardware that can be controlled via an open control interface, meaning a brand can apply its own autonomous software system to the vehicle.
Toyota has created ‘guardian’ software that can take over should any issues arise, to act as a safety net for each brand’s own system. The MSPF is also be open to receive over-the-air software updates from its provider.
Inside, the MSPF's interior can be kitted out with parts and technology to suit the demands of each partner. A parcel delivery van, for example, would prioritise load space, while a ride-sharing car would be given seating.
Speaking at CES, Toyota president Akio Toyoda explained: "Today, you have to travel to the story. With the e-Palette system, the store can come to you. By combining a number of e-Palettes, you can create a social hub, and it would be great at festivals."