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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.