Future of the industry: The Toyota Concept – i
Take a moment and imagine driving out of downtown Buffalo. You’re stuck in traffic and it does not help that there is road work slowing down your commute home to Lackawanna. You become agitated and frustrated with the constant stop and go of traffic. You’re about to honk your horn and yell at the line ahead when all of a sudden you hear the calming sound of someone’s voice, “ The Skyway may take a bit longer, but it is a beautiful drive home.” This is the power of Toyota’s Concept – i.
Last year at the Consumer Electronics Showcase Toyota brought a car that looked straight out of I, Robot. This was the Concept – i. New and innovative with the idea of creating a “ vision for Toyota driving in 2030,” says Ian Cartabiano, one of the designers of the Concept – i. Their future is to bring autonomous driving and elevate it to a new level by incorporating an AI (Artificial Intelligence) to assist the driver.
Now, AI technology has been around for years but, it has not made it to the point that we see it in everyday life. Yui, the AI for the Concept – i, is ready to change that. All the gearheads are going to tell you that it will destroy the experience of driving for you, but it does the exact opposite. The whole point of Yui is to monitor the drivers emotions and make suggestions on places to go or routes to drive based on their emotions. So, if you are feeling annoyed with traffic, Yui will suggest a more beautiful route to take. It also has the ability to take over control of the vehicle if the driver is showing signs of immense sadness or fatigue to avoid any harm to the driver, making the roads safer and keeping people alive. Take that along with the ability to communicate with the outside world and you have what the future holds for us. This is Toyota’s idea of bringing driver and car closer together in the experience that we all share.
Along with, the Concept – i came the i – Ride, which to say the least is the smaller compact version of the original with a different target market. This concept is for the physically impaired drivers of the world. Most vehicles that are for the physically impaired involved giant mini vans that need to be customized for the individual, which can cost a couple thousand extra on top of the original vehicle price. There are dealerships out there that handle the conversion itself and then sell the vehicle with it ready to go, but those are few and far between. At the moment Toyota is the only one looking ahead and creating something for this niche market of individuals who deserve to have the best driving experience possible. This whole concept came from Toyota’s mobility for all movement, which is about giving all of humanity the ability to move. With the i – Ride using joysticks instead of pedals and having space behind the seat for a wheelchair, the ability to drive and park itself, this is what people have been looking for. It’s seems as if the physically impaired have been overlooked, but now we may see more cars with adaptable features for those individuals.
The future’s looking bright for the auto industry, with the improvement of assisted parking and the constant development of AI technology. More auto companies such as Ford, Volkswagen and Cadillac might follow along this path and pave the way for the new generation of vehicles for 2030.
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