Toyota to operate autonomous, zero-emission vehicles at 2020 Olympic Games

Toyota will provide more than 3,000 passenger vehicles for use at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and will use the events to showcase its latest innovations in zero-emissions and autonomous vehicles.

In collaboration with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee, Toyota will use the city as a testbed for its “Mobility for All” vision.

An undisclosed fleet of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs), such as the Mirai saloon and other Toyota and Lexus vehicles, will be used by athletes, staff and spectators during the 2020 events.

“The freedom of being mobile is at the heart of being able to participate in society,” Toyota’s president, Akio Toyoda, said. “If someone wants to take on a challenge and moving is what is preventing them from doing so, Toyota would like to help tackle that problem. We want mobility to be a possibility, not an obstacle.

“By being involved with the Olympics, the Paralympics and the Special Olympics Games, I hope that Toyota will come to respect everyone’s uniqueness and embrace diversity. Once that is realised, we will finally be able to take a step closer to our goal of Mobility for All and ensure, like athletes show us every day, that being mobile equals having a chance to make one’s dreams come true.”

Emotions and autonomy

Athletes and affiliated guests will be provided with support transportation consisting of Toyota’s e-Palette, set to be used by Pizza Hut. It is an autonomous electric vehicle (EV) that is specially designed for ride-sharing.

Verification testing and demonstrations using Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Level 4 automation – one step removed from self-driving capability in any location – will take place for autonomous vehicles. Self-driving functions, for example, will take place in the Toyota Water Front City and Haneda areas in Tokyo.

The Sora fuel cell bus and fuel cell forklifts made and sold by Toyota Industries Corporation will also be used to assist the games. Finally, the games will also offer the latest demonstration of Toyota’s Concept-I car, which can “recognises a driver’s emotions and preferences and engages in conversation using artificial intelligence”, according to the company.

In 2015, Toyota unveiled a series of ambitious new environmental targets with an overall aim to eliminate the use of gasoline cars and cut average carbon emissions from all of its vehicles and products by more than 90% by 2050.

Matt Mace

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie