A new design study from Toyota has been revealed at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Concept-i represents a ‘friendlier, people-focused’ approach to future mobility says Toyota, demonstrating the brand’s view that the starting point for the vehicles of tomorrow should be the people who use them.
The basic philosophy for the design is “kinetic warmth” - a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming and fun. The Concept-i uses an advanced artificial intelligence system to anticipate people’s needs, ‘spur their imaginations and improve their lives’.
The heart of concept is the powerful AI system that learns with the driver, building a relationship. It goes beyond driving patterns and schedules, making use of multiple technologies to measure emotion, mapped against where and when the driver travels in the world. It also uses automated vehicle technologies to help improve safety, together with visual and touch prompts to augment communication based on the driver’s responsiveness.
Under certain conditions, people will be able to choose automated or manual driving, according to personal preference. The Concept-i will monitor driver attention and road conditions, so that it can increase automated driving to support the driver or help navigate dangerous driving conditions.
A next generation user interface provides the platform for the vehicle’s AI agent, nicknamed “Yui”. The vehicle’s interior features sweeping lines and a design that helps Yui to use light, sound and touch to communicate critical information. Instead of using screens on the centre console, information is revealed where and when it is needed. Coloured lighting in the footwells indicates whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive; discreet projectors in the rear deck relay images on the seat pillar to warn about blind spots; and a head-up display helps keep the driver’s eyes and attention on the road.
On the outside, Yui appears on the door panels to welcome driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle while the rear of the car displays messages about upcoming turns or warnings of potential hazards, and the front communicates whether automated or manual drive is engaged.
Bob Carter, Toyota Senior Vice President of Automotive Operations in the USA, said: “At Toyota we recognise that the important question isn’t whether future vehicles will be equipped with automated or connected technologies, it is the experience of the people who engage with those vehicles. Thanks to Concept-i and the power of artificial intelligence, we think the future is a vehicle that can engage with people in return.”