Toyota Concept-i Debuts At CES: All Electric Car With Driver-In-Mind AI (video)

JAN 4 2017 BY JAY COLE 32

Just debuted from the CES show in Las Vegas is Toyota’s vision for the future (circa 2030) – more or less.

Toyota Concept-i: A vision of 2030, but on road validated in Japan (at some point)

Toyota Concept-i: A vision of 2030, but on road validated in Japan (at some point)

And before we get into it too much, a couple things to note:

  • 87% of the letters in the name are indeed “concept” and,
  • the fact it moves itself around on electricity is barely mentioned from Toyota

Therefore this is the kind of fanciful production one might expect from a major automaker at an electronics show.

Toyota says the concept EV will learn from the needs and habits of the driver, and can assist with the driving itself when necessary (full autonomy to be available when required), but is primarily designed for the driver – who wants to keep driving in his or her future.

Of note: More “B-Roll” footage of the Concept-i below

You know it's a concept when...

You know it’s a concept when…

Toyota Concept-i with artificial intelligence on board

Toyota Concept-i with artificial intelligence on board

As Ian Cartabian (studio boss for Toyota’s “CALTY” Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif) says,

“The challenging aspect of it was, how do we make this futuristic car convey something that’s still fun to drive, but also have a new way to interact between driver and car, and basically reignite a love for cars,” concluding that “the future that incorporates technology with a soul. We don’t want to make a cold, technical, dry, soulless machine.”

We should note that although it is a concept with a capital “C”. Toyota is saying the EV will find its way to roads in Japan for “evaluation” at some point in the future.

That said, here are some of the details via Toyota:

Toyota Concept-i Makes the Future of Mobility Human

  • Designed from the inside out to foster a warm and friendly user experience
  • Advanced artificial intelligence learns from and grows with the driver
  • On-road evaluation within the next few years in Japan
Toyota's latest EV concept says "hi"

Toyota’s latest EV concept says “hi”

Imagine if the vehicles of the future were friendly, and focused on you. That’s the vision behind Toyota’s Concept-i. Announced today at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the groundbreaking concept vehicle demonstrates Toyota’s view that vehicles of the future should start with the people who use them.

Designed by Toyota’s CALTY Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., and with user experience technology development from the Toyota Innovation Hub in San Francisco, the Concept-i was created around the philosophy of “kinetic warmth,” a belief that mobility technology should be warm, welcoming, and above all, fun. As a result, the concept was developed with a focus on building an immersive and energetic user experience. What’s more, Concept-i leverages the power of an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) system to anticipate people’s needs, inspire their imaginations and improve their lives.

“At Toyota, we recognize that the important question isn’t whether future vehicles will be equipped with automated or connected technologies,” said Bob Carter, senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota. “It is the experience of the people who engage with those vehicles. Thanks to Concept-i and the power of artificial intelligence, we think the future is a vehicle that can engage with people in return.”

Toyota Concept-i: Styled to the max!

Toyota Concept-i: Styled to the max!

Built around the Driver Vehicle Relationship

At the heart of Concept-i is a powerful AI that learns with the driver to build a relationship that is meaningful and human. More than just driving patterns and schedules, the concept is designed to leverage multiple technologies to measure emotion, mapped against where and when the driver travels around the world. The combination gives Concept-i exceptional ability to use mobility to improve quality of life.

What’s more, the AI system leverages advanced automated vehicle technologies to help enhance driving safety, combined with visual and haptic stimuli to augment communication based on driver responsiveness. While under certain conditions users will have the choice of automated or manual driving based on their personal preference, Concept-i seamlessly monitors driver attention and road conditions, with the goal of increasing automated driving support as necessary to buttress driver engagement or to help navigate dangerous driving conditions.

A rare future autonomous car that DOESN'T feature a retractable steering wheel - refreshing!

A rare future autonomous car that DOESN’T feature a retractable steering wheel – refreshing!

Designed to Help Make Technology Human

To help ensure that even the most cutting-edge vehicle technology remained welcoming and approachable, CALTY designers built Concept-i from the inside out, starting with a next-generation user interface that serves as a platform for the vehicle’s AI Agent, nicknamed “Yui”.

Toyota Concept-i

Toyota Concept-i

The interface begins with the visual representation of Yui, designed to communicate across cultures to a global audience. With Yui’s home centered on the dashboard, Concept-i’s interior emanates around the driver and passenger side and throughout the vehicle in sweeping lines, with interior shapes designed to enhance Yui’s ability to use light, sound and even touch to communicate critical information.

In fact, Concept-i avoids screens on the central console to reveal information when and where it’s needed. Colored lights in the foot wells indicate whether the vehicle is in automated or manual drive; discrete projectors in the rear deck project views onto the seat pillar to help warn about blind spots, and a next-generation head up helps keep the driver’s eyes and attention on the road.

Even the exterior of the vehicle is designed to enable Concept-i to engage with the world around it. Yui appears on exterior door panels to greet driver and passengers as they approach the vehicle. The rear of the vehicle shows messages to communicate about upcoming turns or warn about a potential hazard. The front of the vehicle communicates whether the Concept-i is in automated or manual drive.

Categories: Toyota


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32 Comments on "Toyota Concept-i Debuts At CES: All Electric Car With Driver-In-Mind AI (video)"

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Finally! A car design from Toyota/Lexus that isn’t polarizing!

I don’t know, my Polaroids are acting up right now! :>)

This is polarizingly good, like the Nissan Leaf. It’s disruptive, and I like that.

Those doors will be inexpensive and easy to mass produce, just like the Model X falcon wing doors. Toyota really learned something from Tesla I’ll give them that.

So when can I buy this production ready badass mobile? If I can get it in 2018 for the same cost as a Model III, Tesla has a real competition.

I’d drive that!

Toyota knows how to make polished concepts, I’ll give them that.

Some concepts try to replace the steering wheel, do they have marketing to show the buyers want that?

Granted I hate Toyota with a passion, but even taking my bias into account this is an awful concept. There is nothing about it to like, and the looks alone should disqualify it from anyone’s consideration, even as a concept. The steering wheel is worst of all, looking like a cheap third-party add-on to a Wii, made especially for little girls. I hate it!!

Come on, it winks! Who doesn’t love that.

Don’t forget the animated ‘Happy Bouncing Egg’ on the dashboard display!!!

A D O R A B L E !!!


I’m with you who couldn’t love a car that winks.

I could so imagine being in Tokyo for the Olympics in 2020 and deciding on the spur of the moment that I have had my fill of ping pong and weight lifting. You could jump in one of these and have it drive you out of the city to a a national park where you could go for a walk and have a lovely day out in the sunshine while it scurried off to find a charging station. You could then hop back in, turn off the ultra conservative autonomous drive system, and speed back to Tokyo like a crazy loon in time for Sweden vs Norway beach volleyball.

Hahaha, I couldn’t stop laughing for a minute.

I’m fine now. ?


Yuck… :/

Looks like some over the top, light up pump sneakers i had in middle school.

Maybe this was just a PR move to make the 2016 prius look hot in comparison.

Can’t they just cheat and stick some batteries in an 88′ Camry. That was a nice car.

I get it. This thing is engaging, but an electric, modern version of a Toyota 2000 GT sports car or MR2 wouldn’t be at all. They are cold and hostile. Not like this new best friend, that we all need to help us through this hard life. Maybe this could be the new Bond car.

Just stop, Toyota.

It looks slower than the Prius..

No, thanks.

Nice to see that futurism isn’t dead!

That’s a really beautiful design, altho of course utterly impractical; for one thing, there’s very little ground clearance.

I personally am not fond of glass roofs, but I’d simply love to see some auto maker be bold enough to put a car with an overall body shape like this into production! I find it disheartening that the vast majority of cars are built with a “me too” design.

* * * * *

I see from some of the other comments that this design is quite polarizing. That’s too bad. Well, you can’t please everyone!

Not for use in most garages, car ports, or parking ramps! Or in the rain, or when you need to change lanes, fix a flat tire in the rear. Wow. This isn’t a car, it is an art project. Form over function, to the point of it being unusable.

Wait. I think I figured it out. This will be a new ride at Shanghai Disneyland. Next to the Tron ride. OK, makes sense now.

It is indeed, far more an art project, than a production ready vehicle.

I think a less graphically cluttered version would be pretty nice for a city car, though.

Toyota, will now be the EV leader, with this amazing CES reveal! So sorry to steal Faraday Futures thunder with the FF 91 at CES. This Toyota, will take Tesla and St. Elon to the Woodshed! Better cancel my Tesla Model 3 order, and wait an eternity for this Toyota to arrive at my local No Yoda Stealership!

I generally love concept cars but this was grown from the ugly tree…
The front is nice but it unfortunately has sides and a back…
Looks like VWs ID concept style headlights…1

lol XD

Give me a real f****** ev first. One that people will buy and that will make people stop buying fossils. This “10 years into the future this us maybe how cars will look like” i can get from a si fi movie

The only thing Toyota is showing here is that they still don’t take EVs seriously. This is a slap in the face, a joke. Boycott Toyota!

First the log EV, now this. FU Toyota!

A 2030 Toyota car vision that doesn’t run on hydrogen?

Just another sign that even the planet’s most fanatic hydrogen hoaxer has accepted it’s time to get real.

Japan and robot love. They are so right for each-other.

Toyota stop with show cars. Give us RAV4 EV or Camry EV. Understood?

+1, love my Rav 4 EV with aftermarket quickcharger by, it’s the best production Toyota in History

How old is it? The RAV 4 EV was discontinued wasn’t it? It sounds like a bit of a cult classic, given Toyota’s anti EV position for some time. Sort of like having saved an EV 1. I say hold onto that thing.