This strange looking concept is called the “LQ”, and it is an improved version of the Concept-i that Toyota showcased at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. The LQ is capable of SAE Level 4 equivalent automated driving, and features an Artificial Intelligence agent called “Yui”.
What’s more interesting is that Toyota is organizing a public test-drive event called “Toyota Yui Project Tours 2020”, scheduled to run from June to September 2020 in Tokyo. The public will have the opportunity to register for a chance to be selected to experience the LQ and the Yui AI. Via a smartphone app, the selected participants need to provide their interests and preferences in advance.
Toyota says that the Yui AI can provide a personalized mobility experience based on the driver’s emotional state and alertness. The AI can take care of in-seat functions designed to increase alertness or reduce stress, air conditioning, fragrances and other human-machine interactions (HMI). Yui can also select and play music based on the driving environment and provide real-time information on topics of interest to the driver.
Besides the SAE Level 4 equivalent automated driving, other features include Automated Valet Parking System (jointly developed with Panasonic), Augmented Reality Head’s Up Display (AR-HUD) (jointly developed with Panasonic), OLED instrument display, and seat with alertness and relaxation functions. The latter is claimed to be a world-first. LQ’s seating system consists of multiple inflatable air bladders embedded into the seat with an in-seat air conditioning system to help keep the driver awake or relaxed depending on the driving situation.
When the system recognizes that the driver is tired, it inflates the air bladder in the seat back to support an upright sitting posture and directs cool air from the ventilation system in the seat.
The LQ has a wheelbase of 2,700 mm and can occupy 4 people. In case you’re wondering, the LQ is an electric vehicle; its cruising range is claimed to be approximately 300 km.