The upcoming Tokyo Olympics in 2020 is fast approaching, and Japanese car manufacturers Toyota is seemingly set to play a key role in the transportation aspect of it all. Of course, the Olympics isn’t merely a sports event; it’s a coming together of different cultures, a showcase of everything the world has to offer.
And the logistics of such a huge event is also an issue for organisers to consider, and Toyota has revealed that they’re aiming to achieve the lowest emissions target level of any official fleet provider for the Olympic and Paralympic games—90% of their “3,700 mobility products and/or vehicles” at the Games will be electrified. This will include some pretty interesting vehicles, with buses, scooters, shuttles, and other interesting vehicles all complementing electric cars in the fleet. “These will be commercially-available vehicles, such as Mirai, etc.
Preliminary calculations suggest that the CO2 emitted by the commercially-available fleet for Tokyo 2020 will average less than 80 g/km*1, resulting in a reduction by approx. half of the typical amount when compared to a similar sized fleet of mostly conventional gasoline and diesel models.” Toyota is also including “Sora”, a Fuel Cell Bus that can lift passengers into their seats, with wheelchair accessibility a key-point of the shuttle as well.
“Electrified vehicles include Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV), Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV), such as the hydrogen-powered Mirai, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV), the Prius PHV (known as Prius Prime in some markets), and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV), including the “APM” (Accessible People Mover) and Tokyo 2020 the e-Palette as well as TOYOTA Concept-i.” One of the more interesting vehicles we can expect from Toyota, of course, is the e-Palette, which has been described as a “weird, see-through self-driving boxes roaming through cities, delivering people, packages, and pizza.”
These e-Palettes will have “Level 4” autonomy, which will basically mean that they are driverless, although they will be contained to a specific area. However, if you’re starting to worry about the safety risks of large numbers of autonomous vehicles running around the Olympic Village, Toyota has reassured the public that all vehicles will come with their latest safety features, including “‘Toyota Safety Sense’ and ‘Lexus Safety System +’. Additionally, nearly all the commercially-available vehicles will also be equipped with Intelligent Clearance Sonar (ICS), designed to assist with braking in the event of unintended misapplication of the acceleration pedal.”