Toyota has announced it will supply up to 20 specially designed “Tokyo 2020 Version” e-Palette vehicles to support athlete mobility at the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020.

The vehicles will operate in the automated, loop-line transportation Toyota will provide in the Olympic and Paralympic villages for athletes and related staff.

Takahiro Muta, development leader for the unique version of the e-Palette for Tokyo 2020, said the battery-electric, automated vehicles have been adapted specifically for use during the Games based in part on feedback from athletes about their mobility needs.

“Olympic and Paralympic athletes work tirelessly to achieve the impossible, and we wanted to provide them with a vehicle specifically designed and calibrated to fit their mobility needs during Tokyo 2020,” Mr Muta said.

“Throughout the development process, athletes, especially Paralympians, helped us to better understand how we could adapt and upgrade the e-Palette to better meet the need for simple, convenient and comfortable mobility.

“We are proud to work with them on a vehicle that will not just move athletes physically throughout the Olympic and Paralympic Villages but will also offer them new opportunities to interact with others, share new experiences, and be moved emotionally.”

First announced in 2018, e-Palette is Toyota’s first vehicle developed specifically for autonomous mobility as a service (Autono-MaaS1) applications. It reflects Toyota’s ongoing transition to a mobility company and combines electrification, connected networks and advanced driving technologies to support new shared mobility businesses and business models.

The Tokyo 2020 Version e-Palette has been adapted to meet the unique needs of the Olympic and Paralympic Village, featuring large doors and electric ramps to allow groups of athletes to board quickly and easily. The vehicle will be controlled by an automated driving system capable of operating up to 19 km/h at SAE level2 4, supported by an on-board safety operator.

Deploying the e-Palette to support athlete and staff mobility is a key element of Toyota’s program to provide advanced mobility solutions for Tokyo 2020 as the first worldwide mobility partner of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Toyota plans to leverage the knowledge gained from operating e-Palette at Tokyo 2020 to continue developing the vehicle to support future Mobility-as-a-Service applications.

The Tokyo 2020 Version was revealed and exhibited at the 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.