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Toyota’s self-driving buses to serve as stores

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Toyota’s e-Pallet concept is unveiled during a news conference at CES International in Las Vegas today.

LAS VEGAS >> Toyota says it’s developing self-driving mini-buses that can serve as bite-sized stores.

These vehicles will drive themselves to places where potential buyers can try on clothes or shoes or pick through flea market items. They can also give employees fully functional office space on their commute.

The project, unveiled at the CES gadget show today, is still in the conceptual stage. A concept vehicle is still being developed and will be tested in the 2020s. A version is also expected to make an appearance at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

The Japanese automaker is partnering with Amazon, Uber, Pizza Hut, Mazda and Chinese ride-hailing firm Didi on what it is calling the e-Palette Alliance.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda told CES conference attendees: “In the future, the store will come to you.”

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