Designers started with a next-generation user interface and an 'AI Agent' known as Yui.
Toyota has revealed the futuristic Concept-i car at CES, highlighting the company's vision for an automotive user interface powered by artificial intelligence.
Taking apparent inspiration from Apple's Siri technology, Toyota has given the name Yui to its virtual 'AI Agent.' Yui is a feminine Japanese given name that has various meanings, ranging from "think, consider, reflect" to "supportive," according to Wikipedia.
Designers started with the Yui concept and then added the vehicle itself. The approach avoids screens on the central console, instead relying on head-up displays, colored lights, projectors and other technologies to convey information to the driver.
Yui is represented visually both inside the vehicle and on the exterior, where it can greet passengers or communicate with other motorists. Toyota suggests it can show upcoming turns, warn about potential road hazards, or show wether the vehicle is in manual or autonomous mode.
When manual operation is enabled, the Concept-i's AI system monitors the driver's attention and road conditions to 'buttress' driver engagement or help intervene in dangerous situations.
Toyota has not confirmed plans to bring any of the specific technologies to market, though AI has become a central theme in bringing autonomous cars to market from many automakers.