A closer look at the Toyota concept car that wants to be your best friend

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Toyota

Toyota unveiled its latest concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show on Wednesday night – and it’s designed to be your pal.

The concept car comes with an artificial intelligence assistant named Yui that can learn more about you over time.

Scroll down for a closer look at Toyota’s newest concept car:


Concept-i is Toyota’s latest concept car and shows how the company is taking a gradual approach to self-driving vehicles.

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Toyota

While many concept cars are built without a steering wheel to hint at a driverless future, Toyota kept the feature and built the car around the notion of having a human behind the wheel.

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Toyota

The clearest example of that driver focus is Yui, Toyota’s artificial intelligence assistant. Toyota says Yui is capable of reading human emotions to learn more about a driver over time.

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Yui’s primary purpose is safety. Gill Pratt, the CEO of the Toyota Research Institute, said at CES that Yui can help retain a driver’s focus by performing mild tasks, like turning the radio on or engaging the driver in a conversation.

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Toyota

Toyota wants to use AI to make cars safer because we are a long way off from achieving fully driverless technology.

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Toyota

“None of us in the automobile or IT industries are close to achieving true Level 5 autonomy. We are not even close,” Pratt said at CES.


So while Toyota says it’s still pursuing fully self-driving cars, it’s building vehicles that can be safer while a driver is playing a more active role. The Concept-i is symbolic of that approach, Pratt said at the event.

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Toyota

Aside from improving driver safety, Yui also uses lights and sounds to welcome passengers and make the driving experience a bit more fun.

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It’s kind of cute when it winks, right? I can’t be the only one who thinks that …


The car itself is devoid of touchscreens, as Yui can relay information on a giant heads-up display.

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Toyota

See? No room for driver distractions.

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Toyota

As for the car itself, it has a very clean and minimalist interior with only two seats in the back.

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Toyota

It has a large panoramic sunroof.

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Toyota

As well as scissor doors for dramatic entry.


But since this is a concept car in today’s day and age, Toyota built in display system for when the vehicle is driving autonomously.


But as concept cars go, Toyota has actually presented something relatively down-to-earth.

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Toyota

The car is futuristic without being totally over the top, while still showcasing the approach Toyota is taking with autonomous tech.

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Toyota