The whole world is watching the Olympics in tokyo, in Japan, Ea Toyota you know that well. As a way to show the local technological power, the automaker put the autonomous buses e-Palette to transport athletes within the Olympic Village. The vehicles, of course, draw a lot of attention, as they are extremely hightech, electric and built-in with a level 4 driverless steering system – second highest in the safety rating and “true autonomy”, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

With a capacity to transport 20 passengers and four wheelchairs, as the model will also be used during the Paralympics, the e-Palette has a range of up to 150 kilometers and movement technology for smooth acceleration and braking. According to the Japanese brand, the objective is to convey the feeling that there is a driver in control of the vehicle, and not that it is a robotic vehicle.

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e-Palette is the Toyota bus that runs without a driver at the Olympics. Image: Courtesy of Toyota

In addition to having autonomous driving, the Olympics bus detects other cars and pedestrians around it and automatically brakes, if necessary. Even without the need for a driver, each of the 20 models offered by Toyota will have an operator on board for safety, for possible intervention in case of emergencies.

The Toyota e-Palette debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2018, when Toyota President Akio Toyoda announced the company's bold goal of transitioning to a "mobility-focused" brand. According to the CEO, the driverless bus will be used during the Olympics to enhance practical “mobility as a service” (MaaS) features so that, in the near future, the model will be part of the official fleet of electrified vehicles.

Athletes at the Olympics use a Toyota autonomous bus. Image: Toyota/Disclosure
Athletes at the Olympics use a Toyota autonomous bus. Image: Toyota/Disclosure

To top it off, the Tokyo Games autonomous convoy is still fully accessible and an excellent fighter against covid-19. As described by the assembler, the e-Palette has fabrics and internal surfaces in antiviral material to avoid contamination by the new coronavirus, as well as adaptable handrails according to the athletes' height. Floor and inner handles have been painted in contrasting colors to improve visibility for visually impaired people.

Olympics bus wants to test technology, but with due security

Part of the interior of the “Olympics bus”; e-Palette technology tests take place, but safely. Image: Toyota/Disclosure

Powered by rechargeable batteries, ​​Toyotas e-Palette were programmed to carry out only low-speed trips within the Olympic Village. The brand argues that the action is aimed at the total safety of athletes during technology tests. Vehicles can reach an acceleration of a maximum of 32 km/h.

In addition to supporting 100% safe operation, the model's automated steering system – which includes control hardware and advanced sensors such as cameras and LiDAR – constantly monitors obstacles in a complete 360-degree field of view all around. of the vehicle, even parked. Check out more details of the e-Palette in the video below:

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Sources: Forbes e engadget

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