Toyota AI vehicle aims for oneness with driver


The Japanese brand isn't suggesting anything untoward or creepy happen with its future range of vehicles, but rather that its advanced artificial intelligence is so intuitive it can both sense the driver's mood and learn passengers' preferences.

While Toyota first announced its new Concept-i smart auto line at the Consumer Electronics Show at the start of this year, the announcement of its latest additions comes at a time of growing excitement about artificial intelligence and smart vehicle technologies, with a growing overlap between the IT and automotive sectors.

Toyota says it will show off its new Concept-i vehicles at the 45th Tokyo Motor Show, which runs from October 25th to November 5th, and that it will start testing its Concept-i smart cars on real-world roads "around 2020".

The Concept-i model, a battery-electric auto which will have a cruising range of 300 kilometers (180 miles) on a single charge, will be able to estimate the emotions and alertness of drivers by reading their expressions, actions and tone of voice.

Showing alongside the AI vehicle at Tokyo will be the Concept-i Ride (pictured above).

The two-seater has gull-wing doors to better accommodate wheelchairs, and joysticks instead of a steering wheel to allow for easier operation by the physically impaired. The gullwing doors provide more ingress space, and the rear area of the RIDE offers storage for the wheelchair. Like the first Concept-i, the RIDE is powered by a fully electric powertrain.

The final piece of the Concept-I puzzle is the Concept-i Walk which will get users to their final destination when a vehicle is not able to access that particular point. Hungry? Toyota will be highlighting an array of experimental technologies aimed at improving safety and anticipating drivers' desires at the Toyota Motor Show later this month.