In the same way that mobile phones feature personal assistants, Toyota wants to harness the latest artificial intelligence technology to allow its vehicles to sense the driver's mood and learn passengers' preferences.
That ability will change the way owners interact with their cars in the future, leading Toyota to brand the experience as a ‘partnership’
The Toyota Concept-i, first shown earlier this year at the Consumer Electronics Show in the US, will be one of the brand’s AI-based concepts, harnessing the technology to allow the vehicle to both learn from a passenger's mood but also past conversations, social media activity, and local web based news to assist its occupants.
By monitoring the driver’s mood the Concept-i can detect an emotional or high stress situation and will take over control of the vehicle to best protect the occupants. If you’re travelling solo the Concept-i can even strike up a conversation, suggesting topics based on mood and what has been called an 'Emotion map', that effectively geo-tags your particular moods to find out patterns and create the best user experience.
Getting back to the more traditional car side of things, the Concept-i features an EV drivetrain capable of a 300km range and seating for four.
Accompanying the Concept-i on the stand will be the Concept-i Ride, which is a two-seat city mobility vehicle.
The Ride features several remarkable touches like gullwing doors and a joystick instead of a steering wheel.
Toyota has designed the Concept-i Ride with wheelchair users in mind. The gullwing doors provide a large opening while sideways sliding chairs allow for easy access and the joystick also allows for extended functionality compared to a conventional steering wheel.
The Ride concept can also be used in conjunction with the larger Concept-i, in that the AI learning can be shared across both vehicles, so that settings and preferences are the same regardless of which vehicle one is using. The Concept i-Ride itslef can travel between 100 and 150km on a single charge.
The final piece of the Concept-i puzzle is the Concept-i Walk which will get users to their final destination when a vehicle is not able to access that particular point. The so-called 'last-mile' scooter will travel 10 to 20km.
The 2017 Tokyo Motor Show kicks off on October 25th.
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