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Concept-i Future Mobility in the Making

Imagine if vehicles of the future were friendly, and focussed on you. That’s the vision behind Toyota’s Concept-i.

Announced earlier this year at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, this revolutionary concept vehicle demonstrates Toyota’s view that vehicles of the future should start with the people who use them.

The vehicle was created around the philosophy of ‘kinetic warmth’ – a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming, and fun. With this in mind, it was developed with a focus on building an engaging driving experience.

Concept-i is designed to leverage the power of an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system that will anticipate drivers' needs, inspire imagination and improve lives.

At the heart of Concept-i is a powerful AI system that learns with the driver to build a meaningful relationship.

More than just driving patterns and schedules, the concept is designed to leverage multiple technologies to measure emotion and map it against where and when the driver travels around the world. The idea is that with this combination, Concept-i has the ability to use mobility to improve quality of life.

At the heart of Concept-i is a powerful AI system that learns with the driver to build a meaningful relationship.

The AI system also leverages advanced automated vehicle technologies to help enhance driving safety, combined with visual and sensory stimuli that enhance communication based on driver responsiveness. Meanwhile, under certain conditions users will have the choice of automated or manual driving based on their personal preferences.

Concept-i seamlessly monitors driver attention and road conditions, increasing automated driving support as necessary, or helping to navigate dangerous driving,conditions.

The design of Concept-i, was the responsibility of Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, California. They starting with a next-generation user interface serving 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 centred on the dashboard, Concept-i’s interior flows around the driver and passenger sides 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.

Concept-i avoids screens on the central console. Coloured lights in the foot wells indicate whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive; discreet projectors in the rear deck project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots, and a next-generation head-up helps keep the driver’s eyes and attention on the road.

Designers have also considered the exterior design to enable Concept-i to engage with the world around it. Yui appears on exterior door panels to greet driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle. The rear of the vehicle shows messages to communicate about upcoming turns or warn about potential hazards. The front of the vehicle communicates whether Concept-i is in automated or manual drive.

Concept-i has been described as “exhilarating, delightful and unique - a masterpiece that always looks like it's in motion, even when it's not”.