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Volume 26 No. 109
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Toyota To Use Autonomous Vehicles For Athletes, Staff At Tokyo Games

Toyota, a top sponsor of the '20 Tokyo Games, will "provide 3,700 vehicles, including dozens of self-driving cars, about 500 fuel-cell vehicles and 850 battery-electric cars to the international sports competition," according to Jie & Horie of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Toyota is "doing everything it can to market its transition into an eventual provider of on-demand transportation for consumers and businesses, instead of being merely an industrial manufacturer." Toyota Olympic & Paralympic Division GM Masaaki Ito said, "2020 will be a good time to show our transformation into a mobility company.” More than a dozen "autonomous driving vehicles, which Toyota calls e-Palette, will run on a continuous loop within the Olympic and Paralympic Village to shuttle athletes and staff." Ito said that another "artificial intelligence technology-enabled, autonomous-driving vehicle, known as Concept-i, will travel alongside torch relay runners." Toyota is also "deploying various robots." In addition to the "javelin-collecting robot, the manufacturer will have a humanoid robot, a robot to assist disabled spectators, and a telepresence robot that lets people talk with and see each other." Toyota said that "all of this will be done while achieving the lowest emissions target level of any official fleet used at the Olympics." Ito "declined to comment on how much the carmaker paid for the sponsorship" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/23).