Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is developing AI agent and automated driving capabilities for public demonstration in the Concept-i prototype vehicle in Tokyo in 2020. The idea of combining automated driving and AI Agent capabilities in the Concept-i was first announced by Toyota at CES2017. Working together with each other and as teammates with the human driver and passengers, these capabilities can constantly monitor the car’s environment, inside and out, merging and overseeing both human and vehicle situational awareness to enhance safety, convenience and comfort. Toyota believes that the development, demonstration and eventual deployment of these capabilities are important steps toward public awareness of, and trust in, future mobility.
Toyota is imagining what future beloved cars look like. We truly realized one of them as a product with the current technologies. The exterior and interior are designed not to lose the warmth of humans despite utilizing the latest technologies to create Toyota’s future car. The design of the instrument panel, starting from YUI in the center display, is based on INSIDE OUT, which makes you feel borderless between indoor and outdoor. We encountered many difficulties to realize an actual vehicle from our ideal concept car. I hope that this vehicle will act as a turning point when we look back at the automotive history many decades later. We stepped forward to proceed with development although it didn't present our ideals. I hope that this vehicle will be loved by as many people as possible.
Body Design Leader
The exterior characteristics, "one motion form" and "transparent doors," realize the design of the future. One motion form is realized through the hood, glass and roof by placing the A pillar at further front. The bigger front glass makes the HUD appear larger. As for the transparent doors, glass is used below the belt line. Because of that, you can feel open by the outdoor light. A special coating is applied to the glass so that people inside will not feel the heat. I would like you to feel the collaboration of the futuristic exterior design with the real vehicle.
Seat Design Leader
Creating "a future beloved car" with “AI” and “Automated Driving” based with LQ. When I heard that for the first time, I was very excited about how we would develop a car like that. I was in charge of the "Awakening / Relaxing Seat." When it kicks in, the AI detects your feelings even during automated driving, which will allow you to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with constant feedback from the seat. Specifically, "Awakening Induction" encourages stretching and “Relax Induction” promotes abdominal breathing by giving pressure to your back with a built-in bladder (air compression bag) in the seat. Please experience it by sitting in the seat how its movement makes you relax. Enjoy the future communicating with your beloved car, just like you do with your beloved dog.
Interior/Exterior Design Leader
As an interior design leader:
We developed the interior with a theme; a spacious room and clean design. To make a spacious room, we reexamined the inner parts’ layout and placed the instrument panel forward by 250 mm. Using 3D printer technology, we also created a console in a way that the front part appears to be floating, that achieved the flawless line for the Driver and Passenger seats. To make the clean looking design, we eliminated the switch in the center and implemented newly developed air ventilations, visors, and a RR projection display so that those functional parts are hidden. We also focused on creating brand new and sensational illuminations by developing a ceiling fabric woven with optic fiber and floor mats with LED lights.
As an exterior lamp leader:
We focused that the signature front lamps, which gives an expression of a car, as a part of the bumper. They are transmissive through the panel so that the light stands out from where there’s no lamp. The unit of high and low beams was downsized to realize the original design. The rear combination lamps have the design of an iconic pattern filled. Just like the front, the golden areas are transmissive with the lights on. It becomes a part of the design during the daytime, and it turns red at night to function as lamps.
Agent System Development Leader
“YUI,” an AI agent improves and expands user’s “transfer experience” as mobility. The mobility expert YUI works on passengers utilizing each Human Machine Interface (HMI) in order to lead them safely, reassuringly, and comfortably. The mobile experience improvements rely on understanding passengers’ uniqueness. To achieve that, we utilize a wide variety of “AI technologies to understand people.” YUI aims to be “the relationship itself of a user and a car.” If it can create more value by understanding people, the car will become their “loved” ones. In 2020, we’ll be demonstrating that, and I hope that you can peek at a part of the future.
Cars are developed by the Engineering, Production Engineering, Manufacturing, and Sales departments, but LQ was solely created by the Engineering department. It was a challenging development for us using the latest technology with high specifications, which was filled with new processes and configurations. So the leading young engineers gathered and focused only for creating prototypes. The assembly line method couldn’t perfect any process such as body production, painting, or assembly. Therefore, we hand-crafted all of the prototype after comprehending the design core correctly and suggesting and incorporating better solutions. To realize the high spec designs, we relied on a lot of intuition and know-how, which wouldn’t be accepted in mass production. The prototype looks complete at a first glance, but there are several hundred small things to be improved. However, we will raise the degree of perfection to thrill the world or at least to go beyond expectations.