(Yicai Global) Jan. 11 -- This year’s International Consumer Electronics Show, better known as CES, has exposed a new trend among the leading automakers: transforming themselves from car making to mobile travel service providers, representing a seeming jump into the fierce competition among the internet tech giants.
Toyota and other automakers have taken a further step beyond their known image by transforming themselves from carmakers to mobile travel service providers, and stepping into the fierce technology competition among internet tech companies. Toyota unveiled its new products driven by futuristic tech at the show in Las Vegas.
They include a new generation of electric vehicle (EV) named “e-Palette Concept” and a new version of self-driving "Platform 3.0." As the name suggests, the former is designed as a type of “palette” accommodating more travel service needs and values instead of being a mere car model. It will provide vehicle control interface, self-driving control components developed by other companies and an ‘application programming interface,’ referred to as API, which will be accessible on mobile service platforms, Yicai Global learned from Toyota.
Drawing on such advanced technologies as electrification, interconnection and automatic drive, e-Palette Concept is positioned as a new generation of EV for ‘Mobility as a service,’ often referred to as ‘MaaS.’ It can be applicable to mobility, logistics, product sales and other service scenarios to provide a brand-new mobile solution for daily life, the company says. Going forward, Toyota is set to further improve its services by taking steps to allow multiple service providers to share one vehicle, or incorporate vehicles of varying sizes, into an efficient and smoothly linked transportation system, the firm added.
In addition, e-Palette Concept is capable of customizing the interior according to the service provider's needs, Toyota explained. It can provide services on the go, including the ever-changing forms of mobile office, clinic, and convenience stores to make the stay in the vehicle more pleasant and meaningful.