(LAS VEGAS)

Toyota’s new concept car harnesses artificial intelligence (AI) and self-driving technology.

The Concept-i model – announced at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last week – leverages the power of an AI system to anticipate people’s needs, build meaningful relationships with them and even inspire their imaginations and improve their lives.

It can converse with the driver and get to know them, becoming a potentially life-saving companion capable of detecting alertness levels – flashing lights to give a timely wake up call for them to concentrate properly – and even take over the driving responsibilities in dangerous situations.

It’s a game-changing concept vehicle which, first and foremost, encapsulates the Japanese car giant’s belief that the vehicles of the future should start with the people who use them.

Designed by Toyota’s CALTY Design Research in Newport Beach, California, and with user experience technology development from the Toyota Innovation Hub in San Francisco, the Concept-i was created around the philosophy of kinetic warmth, a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming, and above all, fun. As a result, the concept was developed with a focus on building an immersive and energetic user experience. And Concept-i leverages the power of an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system to anticipate people’s needs, inspire their imaginations and improve their lives.

“At Toyota, we recognize that the important question isn’t whether future vehicles will be equipped with automated or connected technologies,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota. “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.”

To help ensure that even the most cutting-edge vehicle technology remained welcoming and approachable, CALTY designers built Concept-i from the inside out, starting with a next-generation user interface that serves as a platform for the vehicle’s AI Agent, nicknamed Yui.

The interface begins with the visual representation of Yui, designed to communicate across cultures to a global audience. With Yui’s home centered on the dashboard, Concept-i’s interior emanates around the driver and passenger side and throughout the vehicle in sweeping lines, with interior shapes designed to enhance Yui’s ability to use light, sound and even touch to communicate critical information.

“Now, the Concept-I isn’t going to be on the road tomorrow. We still have an awful lot of work ahead. But guess what folks, we will be evaluating many of the Concept-i’s features and technologies on the roads in Japan within the next few years,” added Bob Carter.