Toyota’s New Concept: I- Car will Learn Your Needs To Make Driving More Fun
LAS VEGAS — Driving is about to get a lot more personal.
Toyota’s new Concept-i UX car, which was unveiled on Wednesday at CES in Las Vegas, integrates everything from artificial intelligence to haptic feedback to create a new kind of relationship with the driver. This will be a car that not only protects you, but knows your needs and, perhaps, even your emotions.
Toyota Research Institute designers built the Concept-i car from the inside out starting with something they call Kinetic Warmth and a new personal digital assistant called Yui. Yui lives in the dashboard, but its presence is felt throughout the car, including the door exterior, which can greet you with a cheerful “Hello.” Yui can also communicate with the driver through light, sound and touch (the haptics).
And, if course, it looks like the future, with a sleek curved design and almost fully enclosed rear wheels. The interior looks like a cross between a race car and something out of Star Trek.
“This is a vehicle that grows with you. The more you drive, the smarter Yui gets,” Bob Carter SVP Automotive Operations for Toyota during the unveiling.
Concept-i also differs from a traditional car in that information is no longer centered on the dash board and instead appears where and when it’s needed. ” Information appears like magic on the dashboard, the walls, the seat,” said Carter.
According to Toyota, the concept car uses a sophisticated biometric system to monitor the driver’s intention and, yes, even emotions. That information can help the car make the choice of when to switch between autonomous and manual driving. The car is also smart enough to watch you, making sure you’re paying attention to the road.
The car also include a 3D heads-up display and can communicate with others on the road.
Why is Toyota building this friendly car? “It’s easy to lose sight of why we build cars,” explained Carter, “We build them for people . What is relationship between those new vehicles of the future and the people who use them?”
Toyota, he said, wants to building something more than just rolling technology.
Your next Toyota, though will not feature Yui or an emotional connection to the car (okay, you can still love your car), but Toyota does plan on road testing some of the Concept-i technologies on the roads of Japan in the coming weeks, months and years.