At CES 2017, Toyota unveiled the Concept-i, the company’s human friendly autonomous car of the future. Concept-i is designed around the “kinetic warmth” philosophy which centers around the idea that technology should be warm, welcoming and fun.
The central warmth theme ties together an AI system nicknamed “Yui”, a next generation user experience/interface that will tie in all the car’s technology and computing. Toyota is certain all cars in the future will be connected and all cars will one day be autonomous. However, the company feels its approach to the human experience will set it apart from other car manufacturers.
Concept-i’s design is sleek and bright. The whimsical messages and alerts give it a more playful approach. Yui will even display images to other drivers and passengers on its door panels and rear trunk. If a driver or passenger approaches the car it will display welcome messages and it will communicate upcoming turns or warn about hazards. The front of the car will also display to pedestrians whether the car is in autonomous or manual modes.
Still just a concept
Concept-i, is just that, a concept, at least for now. Toyota believes a lot of the elements of Yui and Concept-i will make it tomorrow’s cars especially in design, materials, and most importantly artificial intelligence developed at its research institute. So while you probably won’t see the Concept-i on the roads anytime soon, you’ll likely see many of the elements of the concept in a future Toyota.