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Toyota's Concept-i Can Recognize Emotions Using AI and Biometrics

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【Summary】Maximizing mobility in urban locations is the main theme of the Concept-i series. The Concept-i RIDE and the Concept-i WALK breaks away from solutions for highways and main roads.

Michael Cheng    Oct 27, 2017 2:00 PM PT
Toyota's Concept-i Can Recognize Emotions Using AI and Biometrics

Toyota is quietly pioneering the development of AI-powered vehicles through the Toyota Research Institute. Automotive technology to come out of the research center will find their way to the automaker's futuristic concept cars, such as the Concept-i series. 

The Japanese car manufacturer will provide a preview of the concept cars (more than one, more on this later) at the upcoming Tokyo Motor Show. One of the units was showcased at CES 2017 in Las Vegas earlier this year.

Read on to learn about Toyota's plan to transform the way people travel and commute around cities.

Connected Transportation

To represent the Concept-i series, Toyota is unveiling a four-wheel EV – the same unit displayed at CES 2017. Equipped with both manual and autonomous driving features, the car is powered by an AI agent, called Yui. According to a Toyota press release, the concept vehicle's tech-savvy features will be tested in Japan by 2020. Most of the technology inside the unit have never been developed or are still in prototype stages. Because of this, it may take some time for the first model from the Concept-i series to reach commercial markets.

The flagship vehicle's in-car platform is tuned to recognize human emotions and passenger preferences. It incorporates a feedback loop (using a portion of output from individuals interacting with the virtual assistant for new input) between the passengers and the AI agent, so that it can offer personalized recommendations.

"Concept-i estimates emotion and level of alertness by reading the driver's expressions, actions, and tone of voice," explained the automaker. "It compares general information such as news on the web with information on individuals such as social media activity, GPS information, and conversation history in the car, and estimates the driver's preferences based on re-occurring topics that arise."

Honda is developing a similar AI-powered platform for its customers. Called NeuV, the driverless concept car seats two passengers and supports autonomous ride-sharing capabilities.

Toyota Concept-i RIDE and WALK

Maximizing mobility in urban locations is the main theme of the Concept-i series. The Concept-i RIDE and the Concept-i WALK breaks away from solutions for highways and main roads. Starting with the Concept-i RIDE, the compact two-seater is an electric-powered vessel designed for everyday use. Featuring large gull-wing doors, it boasts compatibility with wheelchairs.

"The model features gull-wing doors that provide a large opening and an electric seat that slides to the entrance, so that even wheelchair users who feel uneasy when moving between the wheelchair and the car can transfer easily," said Toyota in a press release.

A gaming controller-like joystick replaces the traditional steering wheel. Foot pedals for acceleration and breaking are left out, suggesting the vehicle will support next-level driverless features.

For last-mile mobility, around malls, parks and neighborhoods, the Concept-i WALK provides a stable three-wheel platform, equipped with autonomous functionality. Genuinely suitable for senior citizens looking new ways to stay active and outdoors, as well as for fast-moving tourists and sightseers, the unit is connected to cutting-edge navigation services, via a voice-activated assistant.

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