Toyota’s Monet Technologies unveils COVID-19-fighting ride-share van

Toyota has designed a van for the COVID-19 age.

The automaker’s mobility venture Monet Technologies has unveiled a conversion of the Toyota Hiace Grand Cabin equipped with a ventilation system that’s been engineered to reduce the spread of viruses among passengers in the vehicle.

The system pulls fresh air in from outside and directs it down the center of the cabin to an exhaust at the rear. The driver’s compartment is isolated by a fixed bulkhead, while partitions and curtains separate the passenger seats, which are covered in vinyl for easy cleaning.

The conversion is being offered for approximately $7,000, but is only available in Japan at this time.

Earlier this year, Honda built 10 vans with pressurized rear cabins for Detroit to help transport COVID-19 patients, but they were only meant to protect the driver from the passengers.

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Monet Technologies is a joint venture between Toyota and Softbank that aims to develop an autonomous ride-hailing service, but that technology is not involved in this particular vehicle. Toyota does not guarantee that the vehicle provides 100 percent protection from the spread of coronavirus.

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