Entering a new decade, carmakers are facing a potential paradigm shift; one that brings challenges in the area of CASE or Connected Autonomous Shared Electrified. With that, Toyota believes the fundamental concept of the automobile will change, and as such, will require a change from being a simple car manufacturer into a mobility provider that will provide a wide range of services related to transportation in the future.
At the 46th Tokyo Motor Show 2019, Toyota is showing what its future will look like. Turning their pavilion into a “mobility theme park,” the focus has turned from plain automobiles to mobility solutions that are centered on people.
Among the displays include the Toyota Micro Palette, a small delivery robot that delivers physical goods to a loved one, along with the feelings that go with it. This one last-mile mobility suggests emotion-filled distribution in the future; with the e-Palette, Toyota has a mobility service that maintains a close-knit relationship with people of the future. Not just a form of physical transport, it provides a space for people to enjoy hobbies while bringing stores and services to customers.
For more personal means of mobility, there’s the Toyota e-RACER, which represents “fun to drive” in the future; the e-4me, a single-seat mobility platform offering a taste of luxury allowing the passenger to use their time while en route to do what they want; and the whimsical e-broom which is modeled after a broom used by witches to fly through the air.
In the more immediate future, Toyota showed off an ultra-compact, two-seater battery electric vehicle (BEV) that’s specifically designed to meet the daily mobility needs of customers who make regular, short-distance trips such as the elderly, newly licensed drivers, or business-people visiting local customers. It can be driven a range of approximately 100 km on a single charge, reach a maximum speed of 60 km/h, and features an extremely short turning radius. Toyota has already started working with 100 corporate and government partners to explore using the Ultra-compact BEV before it makes its market debut by the end of 2020.
It’s clear that Toyota is proposing a future that’s centered on people, a future in which “beloved cars” not only realize the experience of “fun to drive” for each customer, but also give a wide range of mobility that responds thoroughly to reach customer’s needs.