Toyota`s Concept-i is a driverless car that doesn`t leave behind the driver
At the Las Vegas Auto Sho – err, CES two thousand seventeen – Toyota has unveiled a concept for a driverless car that makes a point of considering the driver (and those around him or her): the Concept-i.
Of course, we`ll likely never see the Concept-i on the dealer`s lot as you see it here, but it`s about the fantasy, not the reality. And, Toyota`s wish is for driverless cars to not only proceed to support and improve the driving practice, but to learn about you and your driving habits using artificial intelligence (AI).
Furthermore, the Concept-i is about everyone else within the neighborhood of the vehicle, i.e. pedestrians and fellow drivers.
Driverless shouldn`t mean ‘without driver`
The Concept-i, unlike some driverless concepts, doesn`t throw away the steering wheel or upend the interior design fully. That`s likely in no puny part because Toyota tells us that not only has it designed this car with three key disciplines across three teams, but it has crafted the car from the inwards out where most cars are designed outside-in.
Toyota`s CALTY Design Research center in Newport Beach, California helped the stiff`s Japanese designers form the framework of the vehicle. Meantime, Toyota`s Innovation Hub in San Francisco, California created the Concept-i`s AI and interior user interface known as «Yui». And ultimately, Toyota partnered up with MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts to help design the car`s many sensors.
The end result is a vehicle that looks every part Minority Report but is something you could still actually drive if you desired.
Yui wants to be the ultimate in-car GUI
The car`s AI and interface, Yui, is said to learn from your mannerisms and habits in addition to your voice profile to not only do things when you ask, but suggest to do them before you ask.
For example, we were foretold a screenplay by Toyota designers in which Yui would be able to tell whether you`re too tired to drive and suggest to take the wheel on the last gams of the long road-trip. It`s like your private car and a Lyft in one.
Yui communicates via lights and sounds both inwards and outside the vehicle, eschewing the traditional center console inbetween the two front seats and the instrument cluster behind the steering wheel. These lights determine whether the Concept-i is in manual or driverless mode to both the driver and those instantly outside the car as well as alert drivers behind you to upcoming potential hazards. Yui will even greet you as you treatment the car to get in.
The Concept-i doesn`t have a release date or a price, because it`s just that: a concept. Toyota has a somewhat conservative idea for the future of autonomous vehicles (badass scissor doors aside). But, perhaps that`s what we need to get the ball rolling on driverless cars landing in the dealerships swifter?
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