We all love driving. To clarify that, we all love driving but hate traffic. There is a very big difference. There is nothing like going 75 on the highway with the music blasting or podcast if that is your cup of tea. However many of us have to deal with commuting in heavy traffic areas where it is not so much fun. What if there was a way to have that part of driving taken over for us. Yes, Tesla has Autopilot but it’s not fully capable of driving. Automated technology is the future of cars. Every tech company is working on it or has plans in the works to be a part of it. You can already see the seeds of the future if you live in Pittsburgh. There you can pick up a self driving uber.
Enter Toyota, the company that started the eclectic car craze with the Prius before it was cool to drive electric cars. However I think it was more that the Prius ran and looked like an appliance-like vehicle more than anything that kept them from being cool. Toyota knows it’s too late for the older generation to change its mind about the company but hopes to change the mind of future generations. They want them to be able to experience the joy of driving in a new concept car called the Concept i.
“Our vision for the future is that driving is still fun. We’re trying to do the opposite of what’s been seen everywhere else lately,” says Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer at Toyota’s Calty design facility in Southern California.
The steering wheel looks more like a game controller than anything else. That should be a hint this is not your normal concept car. That and the car says hello when you get next to the door. The Concept-i also has an AI because whey not? The fully autonomous car has a “chauffeur mode” for when you don’t want to do anything but relax on the way to and from work. For those time you want to drive yourself, the AI does a good job monitoring your attention, and can remind you to focus if you get distracted.
That AI is called Yui. My first thought was Duck Tails. The interface for Yui is not in one fixed location. It for lack of a better word “lives” in the center of the dashboard but can appear on various screens depending on what you ask of it. Don’t expect to see this concept in production anytime soon in the States. Toyota plans to test it in Japan later this year.