2017 Toyota Concept-i Concept Car Jan 17, 2017 by Cedric (Driver Weekly)
To remain one of the top brands in the automotive industry, Toyota has realized they need to innovate and develop new products. The automaker recently showcased one of its most recent innovations, the Concept-i, at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. This concept shows that Toyota is just as committed to automated driving as newer automakers.
Get to Know the AI
Toyota calls their potential “artificial intelligence” assistant Yui. The concept shows how Toyota wants drivers to truly interact with an automated car and have fun in the vehicle: Yui will appear as a 2D animated avatar on the central dashboard; the interface can also appear on the various other screens throughout the vehicle. Toyota designed the avatar with an inner and outer ring. The outer one represents the body, and the inner circle is the soul. While this might seem bizarre to some audiences, experts also feel that it is a nice differentiation from the identical (and “soulless”) glass touchscreens other companies seem to feel are the way of the future.
Intended to demonstrate what driving could look like in 2030, the cockpit of the Concept-i is futuristic and emphasizes the importance of the driver as well as automation driven by an artificial intelligence. There is still a steering wheel, but drivers have the option of whether they will use it. When you don’t want to drive, future drivers will activate “chauffeur mode.” The AI bridges the two driving modes, assisting the driver when they are distracted and monitoring their attentiveness to the road and wheel. Toyota feels that this autonomous technology should be ready by 2030.
The futuristic design follows similar trends in what other automakers think that the future will look like. The scissor doors are reminiscent of Lamborghinis, and there are numerous LED lighting accents all over the place. The sleek white wedge design is complemented by a sporty feel, black glass, and pixelated splashes of color. The silhouette shows clear influences from the Prius and the team refers to the overall style as “kinetic warmth.” The design of the Concept-i stands out with the scissor doors, eye-catching wheel covers, and headlines that probably aren’t legal to drive with—at least at the moment.
White not intended for production, the Concept-i demonstrates that Toyota is willing to test new plans for automated driving that both integrate and defy established ideas. With time to grow and adjust to changing technology and trends, the 2017 Toyota Concept-i should be a hit. Of course, Toyota has until 2030 to cement the design!