Monet, which is a joint venture between Toyota and SoftBank, has unveiled a new van that has been made with the pandemic in mind. Its other product, which also happens to be a van, can come handy as a workspace or mobile shop. The experts at CarSwitch.com, an online marketplace to sell any car in Dubai and UAE, did some research to share the details with you.
The first version is basically an adapted Toyota HiAce van. It comes with a ventilation system. It pumps fresh air to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission between passengers. The vehicle basically takes in outside air and then circulates it through the cabin. The interior also features screens and curtains to stop the virus from spreading. The vehicle can seat eight people in the back. The seats are covered in vinyl to allow for easy cleaning. All passengers get intercoms and non-contact body scanning temperature devices as well. The driver’s compartment is isolated by a bulkhead that is fixed. The vehicle is priced at $7,000. It will only be sold in Japan at the moment. Monet doesn’t guarantee that the van will provide 100 percent protection from coronavirus transmission.
The second version lets users fix fittings to the floor and arrange the interior as a workspace or shop. More specifically, it features a flexible cargo area that can be reconfigured depending on the use case. Back seats can be moved along sliding rails and they can also be removed and replaced with a table. You can also equip the vehicle with monitors, power supplies, USB ports, special lighting, and air purifiers. Sales are expected to start early next year.
Neither of the two vans features self-driving technology. In some countries like Japan, you will be required to store some fittings such as tables before moving off.
The Monet venture was announced back in 2018 and the main aim was to become a platform for driverless services.
Monet will also coordinate between SoftBank’s Internet of Things platform that collects and analyses data from sensors and smartphones and Toyota’s information infrastructure for connected cars.
Monet has previously shown an autonomous e-Palette vehicle concept. It is a fully-automated battery electric vehicle that can be scaled and customized for different mobility services. The plan was to release an on-demand mobility service this year that uses e-Palette for things such as food delivery, where the food is being made inside the vehicle, mobile offices, and hospital shuttles that can carry out medical examinations.
This year, Monet is planning to sell 100 units in Japan to government and corporate customers. Once its mobility services gain traction in its home country, we can see a global rollout. The alliance has also attracted interest from other local automakers.