This week, Toyota have released details of a new Concept-i series of vehicles which use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to understand drivers – so people and cars can learn and develop together.
Historically, Toyota has sought to capture the freedom and joy of mobility in the vehicles it makes, the kind of cars that might be described by Japanese owners as “beloved”. The Toyota Concept-i series has been conceived as “beloved cars” for a new era, guided by the principle of being “more than a machine, a partner”.
LEARN. PROTECT. INSPIRE.
The technology applies Artificial Intelligence to recognise human emotions (LEARN) and estimate what a driver’s preferences may be. Combining automated driving to provide safety and peace of mind (PROTECT). It is also possible to use the technology to anticipate a driver’s feelings, helping provide new dimensions of driving pleasure (INSPIRE).
Concept-i gauges the driver’s alertness and emotional state using a complex reading and interpretation of the driver’s expressions, actions and even tone of voice. By comparing general information such as news across the web, with information on individuals such as their social media activity, GPS information as well as conversation history in the car – preferences can be estimated based on re-occurring topics.
The vehicle works with the driver to enhance protection when driving, so; if a driver seems to be stressed or support is deemed necessary, the Concept-i will switch to automated driving. Operation is based on Toyota’s Mobility Teammate Concept for automated driving, which is designed to both watch over and assist drivers as required. Further to this safety feature, the Concept-i can also provide support by stimulating senses – including; sight, touch and smell to help drivers feel more related and combat drowsiness.
Of course, this vehicle is also fun to drive – it can understand the driver’s preferences and mood. In doing so, it can suggest topics of interest and new routes as slight detours from planned journeys.
Toyota plans to be road-testing some of the concept car’s functions by around 2020.
Toyota Concept-i RIDE
A vehicle designed perfectly for wheelchair users, this concept has gull-wing doors to provide easy access and an electric seat that slides to the entrance. The opening and closing of the doors accommodates loading and unloading of the wheelchair – this can be stored easily thanks to the design.
To replace the steering wheel accelerator and brake pedals, driving will be controlled by a joystick for ultimate ease of driving.
The driver is positioned centrally when the vehicle is being driven. Toyota envisions the Concept-i RIDE being used for vehicle sharing schemes, giving more people the chance to enjoy the freedom of mobility – something that is currently accessible mainly through individual vehicle ownership.
Toyota Concept-I WALK
Safe driving on pavements and pedestrian areas can be made possible with the Concept-i WALK. This interesting concept can rotate on the spot and takes up about the same space as a walking pedestrian. Thanks to the Artificial Intelligence, this concept can sense danger while in motion, it can warn the driver and automatically take avoiding measures. The aim of this is to provide a vehicle for short-distance mobility and co-ordinate with other transport facilities at popular outdoor locations.