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Tokyo show: Toyota adds to Concept-i family

Riding high: The Concept-i Ride is designed to assist people with mobility issues that may be in a wheelchair.

Toyota’s Concept-i Ride and Walk show off the future of mobility


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17 Oct 2017

TOYOTA has followed up the Concept-i from January’s Consumer Electronics Show with a pair of companion concepts that preview the company’s vision for personal mobility.

Each of the three vehicles, that now includes the Concept-i Ride and Concept-i Walk, will be shown at next week’s Tokyo motor show.

Toyota says the trio “envisages a world where cars understand people, applying artificial intelligence (AI) to recognise emotions and estimate driver preferences combined with automated driving technology for maximum safety”.

The Concept-i Ride is a two-seater designed to ensure freedom of mobility for people including wheelchair users and the elderly and it features gullwing doors and an electric universal sliding seat and a joystick for “user-friendly operation”.

Inside, the joystick replaces a traditional steering wheel, brake pedals and the accelerator, and the i Ride is compact enough for wheelchair users to park in standard single-car spaces.

Opening and closing the gullwing doors supports the loading and unloading of the wheelchair, which can be stored in the rear section of the vehicle, and the electric seats slide to the entrance for easy transfer from wheelchair to the car.

It has an electric range of between 100 and 150km and Toyota says it envisions the i Ride being a part of ride-share operations.

Like the Concept-i before it, the i Ride uses artificial intelligence technology, dubbed AI Agent, to provide the user with information on locations of barrier-free facilities to assist people in wheelchairs.

The third member of the Concept-i family is the i Walk that appears to be Toyota’s version of a Segway.

It offers short-distance movement, has three wheels a steering function, variable wheelbase mechanism and can rotate on the spot.

The i Walk has a cruising range of 10-20km and can warn the operator and take avoidance measures if it detects danger while moving.

As previously reported, the AI tech in the Concept-i from this year’s CES can measure emotion, which Toyota says can give the vehicle “ability to use mobility to improve quality of life”.

The AI system can take control of the vehicle and operate under self-driving mode, otherwise the user interface (or ‘Yui’) will monitor the driver’s attention and read road conditions to supplement safety in manual driving mode.

Other AI safety features include the ability to broadcast images on the interior C-pillars which helps eliminate blind spots, as well as a head-up display designed to keep the driver’s attention squarely on the road.

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