Toyota unveils futuristic Concept-i at CES 2017
【Summary】On the second day of CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Toyota introduces its fancy-looking vehicle called “Concept-i”: envisioning a futuristic car-human interaction module that cars could meet and predict drivers’ needs in a more humanized way.
On the second day of CES 2017 in Las Vegas, Toyota introduces its fancy-looking vehicle called "Concept-i": envisioning a futuristic car-human interaction module that cars could meet and predict drivers' needs in a more humanized way.
"All of this talk about advances and automotive technology-it's really easy to lose sight of why we build cars. We make them for people…cars have become our home of wheels," Bob Carter, Toyota's senior VP of Automotive Operations said at the product release.
He introduced the glossy white four-seater that is "their futuristic vision of what driving a Toyota means in the year 2030." Equipped with an advanced artificial intelligence system called "Yui," it's designed to know the driver, as it adapts to its behavior to cater to personal preferences.
Concept-i was a two-year research product by Toyota's California-based CALTY Design Research crew and Toyota Innovation Hub. It adopts the concept of "kinetic warmth" which focuses on user-experience. Instead of making the machine cold, boring and technological, the car's functions and features are trying to give people an accommodating feel - like a close friend who travels with you and understands your every move.
The headlamps are underneath the paint; when the driver approaches the vehicle, the headlights open up like eyes (it could even wink at you). The exterior lighting system could also communicate with pedestrians and other vehicles through message boards on the front and rear bumpers, such as telling whether it's in manual or autonomous driving mode, turning in a specific direction or sending warnings.
Designed for both autonomous and piloted driving, the car has a wide-screen HUD display that can keep the driver focused on the road. Furthermore, it highlights a steering wheel and driver aid features, such as projecting videos onto rear pillars to eliminate blind spots.
According to Autoblog, when the driver first enters the car, he will meet Yui as a pulsing circle on the center console; it raises up to meet the driver's hand, then moves around the Concept i's interior at a whim, appearing on integrated, but subtly hidden, interfaces.
Although Concept-i isn't hitting the market soon, the car will be tested on Japan's roads in the coming years.
Toyota sold 2.45 million automobiles in 2016, topping the retail brand chart for the fifth consecutive year. Its Camry and Lexus series are all-time favorites of car buyers. Well known for making high-quality, yet dry and soulless vehicles, the unveiling of Concept-i signals a new direction for the leading automaker.
Claire Peng has over 6 years of professional experience in the media industry, covering TV, newspaper and online media. She was once a reporter and producer for Fairchild Television based in Toronto Canada, and worked as an English news reporter for the Global Times in Beijing. She writes mainly about self-driving, companies investment, and the enterprise lab.
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