On 4 January, Toyota held a press event at CES focusing on its concept car, the “Concept AI.” Senior Vice President of Toyota Motor Sales USA Bob Carter offered a presentation that unveiled the new vehicle.

Equipped with an AI agent known as “Yui,” the car boasts having finally bridged the connection between man and machine. With head lights resembling eyes, by “opening” and “closing” these eyes via animatronics, the car takes on an expressiveness not seen in other vehicles.

Yui communicates with the driver via a round window resembling a dashboard. With its organic-looking movements, Yui expresses itself naturally to the driver, making understanding information about the vehicle even more easy, and works to communicate directly and non-verbally with humans in the vehicle. A large undertaking of this effort was to smoothly deliver a smooth driving experience during automated driving, this concept car being the result of efforts into tackling that issue.

Otherwise, information on the car while it is driving, information when it is braking or turning, as well as the behavior of the vehicle when outside of the car is made known to riders and those in close proximity, this being a necessity in order to fully communicate with other drivers, cars, and people in the immediate vicinity of the car while it is in automatic driving mode.

Chief engineer of the project is Shin Okabe, with design being headed by CALTY’s chief designer Ian Caltabiano.

[Translated by Bryce Clarke]