Toyota appeared on this year's CES with its Concept-i that was, as the carmaker explained, designed inside-out in order to ensure a warm, immersive and friendly user experience.
The concept was developed at CALTY, Toyota's Design Research in Newport Beach, California, while user experience technology was developed by the Toyota Innovation Hub in San Francisco. The core philosophy of Concept-i is 'kinetic warmth', ''a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming, and above all, fun.'' The power of an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system was used to anticipate passengers' needs, inspire their imaginations and improve the quality of their lives.
So, in the heart of the car is a powerful AI interface that learns together with the driver and builds a meaningful, human relationship between them. The car's AI tracks driver's emotional and physical condition, and then based on driver responsiveness switches between driver's own and automated drive control, thus increasing driving safety.
Communicating with the driver is the AI representative, the AI Agent named Yui. Yui, seemingly residing in the dashboard, begins with the visual representation and then uses displays, set throughout the vehicle, to further 'talk to the driver'. The interior is designed in a way that allows Yui to use light, sound and even touch to communicate critical information. It actually avoids screens on the central console to reveal information when and where it's needed, using the entire vehicle as a communication tool. Yui is assisted by discrete projectors in the rear deck that project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots, and a next-generation head up that helps keep the driver's eyes and attention on the road.
Also the exterior of the vehicle is designed to enable Concept-i to communicate with the world around the vehicle, as we see Yui appear on exterior door panels, greeting the driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle. The rear of Concept-i projects messages, warning about something potentitally dangerous approaching, while the front of the car notifies its surroundings about the current driving mode – be it automated or manual.