Toyota’s Concept-i Car Makes Artificial Intelligence More Human

Toyota’s Concept-i Car Makes Artificial Intelligence More Human

The AI system demonstrates a range of ways it can build a human-like connection with people

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 16 january 2017

One of the more far out automotive ideas shown at CES 2017 was Toyota’s Concept-i. It is a car that strives to become a kind of digital life form. Designed by Toyota’s CALTY Design Research in Newport Beach, California along with UX created by the Toyota Innovation Hub in San Francisco, the Concept-i car explores the potential of automotive AI.

At the core of the Concept-i is “Yui”, the visual interface personality of the car. Yui is the communications system of the onboard AI and can deliver messages, warnings, or personality expressions through both exterior and interior lighting and display surfaces.

The design of the Concept-i looks beyond the current trend of large touch screens and instead integrates digital communications and entertainment content within the car’s surfaces. The AI system in turn can target the delivery of information to where it is most needed.

Concept-i Car
Toyota designers also wanted to show how technology could become friendlier and more fun. Yui can stimulate different senses through light, sound and tactile projections. The interior lighting for instance changes color to reflect whether the vehicle is autonomously driving or being manually piloted.

The exterior design doesn’t subscribe to traditional category cues of performance or luxury cars. The shapes are futuristic in a funky kind of way. There’s lots of patterns that morph in shape and headlights that wink.

It shouldn’t be any surprise that the Concept-i car has no chance of being produced. But its exterior communications are something that should start showing up as automakers grapple with how to alert other drivers and pedestrians about the car’s operational status. Particularly if there isn’t even a human inside driving at all.

Toyota Concept-i car




Concept-i Car Toyota_Concept_i_09.jpg



+artificial intelligence
+automotive AI
+CES 2017
+visual interface personality

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