Toyota shows off its futuristic self-driving store, the 'e-Palette,' at CES

Key Points
  • Company president Akio Toyoda showed off the "e-Palette," a self-driving, futuristic store, at CES on Monday.
  • It will debut at the 2020 Olympics.
Toyota unveils e-Palette at CES, January 8, 2017.
Source: Toyota

Toyota unveiled a new take on the "mobility" concept at CES on Monday.

Company president Akio Toyoda revealed the "e-Palette," an electric, self-driving vehicle that when launched will apparently be a combination deli, pizza delivery, retail shop and ride-hailing service.

"It is an open, flexible platform easily adapted to suit a range of uses, including ride-sharing, delivery and retail," Toyoda said. "Today you have to travel to the store. In the future, the store will travel to you."

The company will debut a model e-Palette at the 2020 Olympics, where it is a sponsor.

Toyota has already signed on partners for the mobile store, including Amazon, DiDi, Pizza Hut and Uber — thus suggesting the e-Palette will deliver you pizza or packages, or drive you to a destination.

"[E-Palette is] a platform that will be the backbone for mobility-as-a-service, for autonomy, for car-sharing, for any number of services that we want to make possible," Toyoda said.

He said the e-Palette is at least partially a response to increasing competitive pressure from Silicon Valley in the self-driving car race.

"Our competitors no longer just make cars. Companies like Google, Apple and even Facebook are what I think about at night, because, after all, we didn't start off making cars either," Toyoda said at CES.

"Technology is changing quickly in our industry, and the race is on," he added.