Toyota LQ is an AI Concept Car that Builds Emotional Bond with the Driver


Toyota isn’t new to AI technology in cars, even though their efforts are still in concept form. The original concept named “LQ” is the second generation of their AI efforts, a successor to the Toyota Concept-i presented two years ago.

The Toyota LQ was presented on the Tokyo Motor Show and is a testament to how much Toyota progressed in autonomous driving capabilities and AI technology.

For those that follow the Japanese closely the past few years, the great news is that the LQ is a BEV (Battery Electric Vehicle). Toyota was more into hydrogen cars recently, resisting the electric-car craze that Tesla started, but now they seem to double-down on electric vehicles.

The LQ has enough battery juice for 186 miles of range, not bad by today’s standards. On top of that, the concept is equipped with a catalytic radiator fan that can convert ozone from the air to oxygen. According to Toyota, this technology should reduce photochemical smog in the air. Right now, it is capable of cleaning 60% of the ozone it encounters.

Apart from the battery-electric drivetrain, the LQ brings several technological advancements that might change how we view our cars. The most interesting one is the AI-powered interactive agent Yui that will build an emotional connection with the driver. The assistant can also communicate with other people with the Digital Micromirror Device. It is essentially one million mirrors that can project figures on the road in front of the car.

“Advanced technology gives us the power to match customer lifestyles with new opportunities for excitement and engagement. With the LQ, we are proud to propose a vehicle that can deliver a personalized experience, meet each driver’s unique mobility needs, and build an even stronger bond between car and driver,” said the leader of the LQ development team, Daisuke Ido.

The artificial intelligence technology has been ported to the driving capabilities, as well. The automated driving technology was made in collaboration with the Toyota Research Institute. It is a Level-4 autonomy, which means that it can do most of the driver’s duties on most of the roads. However, the LQ is still equipped with steering wheel – only Level-5 autonomy cars can lack one.

Credit: Toyota

Bianca Van der Watt

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