Automotive

Toyota explores automotive AI with all-new Concept-i

Toyota explores automotive AI ...
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
View 35 Images
The Toyota Concept-i employs a highly conceptual, futuristic look with lots of glass and faired rear wheels
1/35
The Toyota Concept-i employs a highly conceptual, futuristic look with lots of glass and faired rear wheels
The Concept-i seems to pick up where the 2015 FCV Plus concept left off in terms of wild styling
2/35
The Concept-i seems to pick up where the 2015 FCV Plus concept left off in terms of wild styling
The interior lines and curves flow outward from the centralized Yui user interface
3/35
The interior lines and curves flow outward from the centralized Yui user interface
Not your average car cockpit
4/35
Not your average car cockpit
The interface provides both interior and exterior alerts and notifications, including driver greetings
5/35
The interface provides both interior and exterior alerts and notifications, including driver greetings
The robust head-up display provides information and keeps the driver looking straight ahead
6/35
The robust head-up display provides information and keeps the driver looking straight ahead
Toyota revealed the Concept-i on Wednesday at CES
7/35
Toyota revealed the Concept-i on Wednesday at CES
Toyota Concept-i
8/35
Toyota Concept-i
The Concept-i and its AI-driven interface provide a starting point for further research on how to keep drivers engaged through the on/off nature of Level 2 automated driving
9/35
The Concept-i and its AI-driven interface provide a starting point for further research on how to keep drivers engaged through the on/off nature of Level 2 automated driving
The front of the car lets other vehicles and pedestrians know what mode it's being driven in
10/35
The front of the car lets other vehicles and pedestrians know what mode it's being driven in
Toyota's all-new Concept-i
11/35
Toyota's all-new Concept-i
The Concept-i stands as a sculpture of contrasting materials and lights
12/35
The Concept-i stands as a sculpture of contrasting materials and lights
Toyota Concept-i interior
13/35
Toyota Concept-i interior
Toyota Concept-i interior
14/35
Toyota Concept-i interior
In case it's not immediately clear just by looking at it, Toyota won't be building a production version anytime soon
15/35
In case it's not immediately clear just by looking at it, Toyota won't be building a production version anytime soon
Toyota Concept-i
16/35
Toyota Concept-i
Toyota Concept-i sketch
17/35
Toyota Concept-i sketch
Toyota Concept-i sketch
18/35
Toyota Concept-i sketch
Toyota Concept-i sketch
19/35
Toyota Concept-i sketch
Toyota Concept-i sketch
20/35
Toyota Concept-i sketch
Toyota Concept-i sketch
21/35
Toyota Concept-i sketch
Toyota Concept-i sketch
22/35
Toyota Concept-i sketch
Toyota shows the Concept-i at CES 2017
23/35
Toyota shows the Concept-i at CES 2017
Inside the Concept-i, CES 2017
24/35
Inside the Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota shows the Concept-i at CES 2017
25/35
Toyota shows the Concept-i at CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
26/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Front and rear scissor doors provide plenty of space to load and unload
27/35
Front and rear scissor doors provide plenty of space to load and unload
Inside the Concept-i, CES 2017
28/35
Inside the Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
29/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
30/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
31/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
32/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
33/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
34/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017
35/35
Toyota Concept-i, CES 2017

The concept cars of the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show are all about supporting their drivers and passengers with welcoming, cutting edge technology. Following the Chrysler Portal, the new Toyota Concept-i is another "inside-out" concept that wraps driver and passengers in an intuitive interface. It's driven by artificial intelligence (AI) and brought to life with the dashboard-dwelling personal assistant "Yui" (yu-ee). Toyota believes the interface could lay the groundwork for a safer, friendlier connected car.

Designed by Toyota's CALTY Design Research center in California, the Concept-i appears to be written from the same "eye-catchingly futuristic" script as the FCV Plus, albeit with more curves and smoothed edges. It tries a bit too hard to stand out, in our opinion, but its intentions are good. It serves as a warm, welcoming presence that attends to a person's needs like no car before it. Toward this end, the powerful AI assists with vehicle operation, navigation, critical information delivery, and driver mood and alertness monitoring.

"At Toyota, we recognize that the important question isn't whether future vehicles will be equipped with automated or connected technologies," says Bob Carter, Toyota's senior vice president of automotive operations. "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."

The robust head-up display provides information and keeps the driver looking straight ahead
The robust head-up display provides information and keeps the driver looking straight ahead

Instead of using technology as a starting point in and of itself, as is certainly tempting to do with a CES concept, Toyota starts with the user experience (UX) and looks at how technology can improve that experience and create a more meaningful bond between person and car. Like other in-vehicle personal-assistant concepts, Toyota's Yui learns the driver's preferences, moods and needs and reacts accordingly. It monitors the driver's alertness and emotions using biometric hardware, helping it identify when to switch between manual and automated driving modes.

This last factor will be crucial for Toyota moving forward, as it believes that a Yui-like interface could be the key to keeping drivers safely engaged during Level 2 partial autonomous driving, which can handle acceleration and steering but requires the driver to monitor other systems and be prepared to take over full-time driving.

Automakers are concerned about how human error will affect such partial automation systems, worried that driver attentiveness will drop off precipitously, whether purposefully, as the driver focuses on alternative tasks like reading or text messaging, or inadvertently. There's no simple answer to the question of whether the human driver will remain alert and stay prepared to take over driving responsibilities when required by a Level 2 system.

Toyota hopes a Yui-like interface might be able to keep drivers engaged during Level 2 automated driving, serving as a secondary task that keeps them alert and focused on the car. Such an interface could talk naturally to the driver, provide audible or visual alerts regularly, and otherwise keep the driver's attention focused.

The front of the car lets other vehicles and pedestrians know what mode it's being driven in
The front of the car lets other vehicles and pedestrians know what mode it's being driven in

"Concept-i seamlessly monitors driver attention and road conditions, with the goal of increasing automated driving support as necessary to buttress driver engagement or to help navigate dangerous driving conditions," Toyota explains.

At CES, Toyota expressed uncertainty as to whether or not this strategy will work well enough to ensure the level of safety it demands, but it plans to develop, research and evaluate the technology over the coming years.

With this type of on-road safety and driver engagement in mind, the Concept-i interface dispenses with the convention of centrally gathered information displayed on the dashboard, letting the information flow to relevant areas of the vehicle. The graphic representation of Yui calls the center of the dashboard home, but light, sound, touch and text sweep through the interior and over the exterior to communicate with both occupants and the surrounding environment.

Toyota Concept-i interior
Toyota Concept-i interior

A large, windshield-spanning head-up display serves up key information within the driver's gaze. "Manual" and "automated" driving modes are differentiated by different colored lights in the footwells, as well as by digital text on the hood. A rear projector system casts images onto the seat pillars to reduce blind spots, while the rear of the vehicle provides signals and warnings to trailing vehicles.

As is probably obvious, the Concept-i is more a jumping off point for research on the future of AI-driven vehicle technologies, less a preview of any upcoming vehicle.

Take a closer look at the Concept-i in the video below:

Toyota Concept-i (:60) l CES 2017 | Toyota

Source: Toyota

6 comments
Imran Sheikh
whats with the covering of wheels just for the sake of design knowing it wont survive the very first boulder.designers should wait till the levitation technology reaches to that point we dream.
S Michael
Concept car = spending money on cars that will never be built. Writing the cost off your income tax as "Research".
KaiserPingo
Conceptcars are milestone, as to where the car industry wants to go, or believes where the customers wants to go. It be in design and/or technology. Or as some times seen, a conceptcar is just part of a commercial campain and the concepts becomes almost forgotten. But even in those "showroom only" conceptcars, you get an idea about what the car company wants to be seen as, and what they want to offer.
KaiserPingo
Covered wheels make very good aerodynamic sense ! On the Ursaab (First protottype SAAB) the tried with even the frontwheels covered inside the chassis. The car had a remarkably low cv, for the reason of saving Proved to be dangerous with snow-buildup in the arches, that made steering impossible.
Stephen N Russell
Id drive this, love the idea & tech involved for Gen 1 models in So CA
Bob Flint
Doesn't look very promising, it actually seems BMW & Toyota "Designers" play at the same level, but at least Toyota has more skin in place despite being a slick LED over-laden molded fantasy that unless it operates without fail for 15 to 20 years, at fully human control, or complete autonomous mode. There is no in between, level 2,3,4 far too complicated for humans, and machines to collaborate and perfect, just as 100% self driving without failure...