This special version of the e-Palette will indeed be part of the fleet made available by Toyota for the 2020 Olympics, as announced in August. "Throughout the development, athletes – Paralympians in particular – have helped us understand how to adapt and improve the e-Palette to best meet the need for a simple, convenient and comfortable mode of travel," says Takahiro Muta. , responsible for the development of this version of the e-Palette.
Dubbed "Tokyo 2020", this version features large sliding doors, a low floor, electric ramps and a stop control system that minimizes the gap between the sidewalk and the vehicle to facilitate the ascent and descent of passengers. "With its long wheelbase and flat floor, the shuttle can carry four wheelchairs and several standing passengers simultaneously," says Toyota. Inside, the grab bars and seats are accessible regardless of the size of the passengers and the colors have been adapted to be better noticeable by color-blind people.
Thanks to the combination of several sensors including cameras and a lidar, 3D mapping technology, control software and an operating management program, the e-Palette is able to roll at 20 km / h in autonomous SAE 4 level mode (high automation). "The autonomous pilot constantly monitors the presence of obstacles over 360 ° and adapts its speed accordingly, as well as to the surrounding context," says Toyota. However, "as a precautionary measure, a rescue driver will be on board to oversee the vehicle's movements and take back the hand if necessary", as required by international law. In addition, "the front and rear lights of the vehicle mimic certain movements of the eyes to inform pedestrians of its intentions," adds the manufacturer. The knowledge gained from the 2020 Olympics will then be used to develop future mobility applications as a service (Maas).