This article originally appeared on www.eenewsautomotive.com, http://www.eenewsautomotive.com/news/toyota-human-centric-approach-through-ai
By Christoph Hammerschmidt, Contributing Editor
Toyota is propagating a “partnership-based relationship between man and car” with the presentation of new concept cars of the Concept-i family at the Tokyo Motor Show (25 October to 5 November). In addition to the four-wheel Concept-i, which Toyota unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year, the Japanese automaker is now adding a narrower four-wheeler, which is particularly suitable for the disabled, and a compact electric scooter.
According to Toyota, all three vehicles should be more than just a machine and a means of transport. Rather, the vehicles are to become partners for people with different mobility needs. They combine an artificial intelligence that understands the wishes and feelings of the driver with autonomous driving systems for increased comfort and safety and offer the occupants a new driving experience.
While the Concept-i presented in Las Vegas is a 4.51-meter-long electric car with four seats and a range of around 300 kilometers, the new Concept-i RIDE is a 2.50-meter-long two-seater with a range of up to 150 kilometers, which is also suitable for wheelchair users thanks to its wide-opening swing doors and an electrically operated seat. The seat can be moved sideways to facilitate changing from the wheelchair to the seat. The area behind the seat has been designed to accommodate the wheelchair.
The RIDE is steered with a joystick instead of a steering wheel and pedals. It is only 1.30 meters wide, so that a wheelchair can be stored or removed from the car within a normal parking space. The digital assistant, equipped with artificial intelligence and on board in all models of the Concept-i series, provides information for travel and excursions in the Concept-i RIDE, for example about barrier-free facilities.
As the third member of the Concept-i family, Toyota will be presenting the Concept-i WALK at the Tokyo Motor Show: a kind of scooter with three wheels, variable wheelbase and compact dimensions that do not take up more space than a pedestrian in motion and is suitable for pavements and pedestrian zones, for example. It has a steering function and is therefore easy to steer – unlike existing vehicles that are controlled by body movement, such as the well-known Segway. The WALK is also electrically powered and covers up to 20 kilometres per battery charge. In dangerous situations, it warns the driver and initiates measures to prevent a collision.
Both the WALK and the RIDE are suitable for sharing services and thus enable the use by different people in a variety of scenarios.