Consumer car brands are hinting they could be bringing in electrically powered self-driving cars as early as 2020. With cities around the world becoming more environmentally aware, it’s no surprise that the once far-fetched technology is closer than ever before.
This year’s Tokyo Road Show revolves around the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI), which includes the ability for cars to drive themselves as well as assist the driver.
It also showcased that hybrid petrol/electric, fully electric (EV) and Fuel Cell Vehicles (FCV) are going to be a driving force for a cleaner environment and more cost-effective motoring.
The word ‘concept’ in the automotive industry has always been associated as a far-fetched idea manufactured in a way that showcases current design prowess. But this time the term ‘concept’ couldn’t be anymore real and not as crazy as one might think.
Toyota’s Concept-I incorporates AI and connected technologies designed to help your car better understand people and therefore providing a safer driving experience.
The car’s emotion recognition and “alertness level estimation” feature can tell the driver’s mood by analysing facial expressions and body language.
The Lexus LS+ concept also adopts AI technology, called ‘Urban Teammate’, that allows for fully automated, hands-free driving on regular roads, as well as ‘Highway Teammate’ for automated driving on fast expressways.
Both of these technologies are due to come online for selected Toyota and Lexus models by 2020 and will provide automated steering along with automatic lane merging, lane changing and diverging as well as constantly keeping a safe distance to the car in front.
Like the Toyota Concept-i, the LS+ Concept both learns and ‘grows’ with its driver’s habits and styles over time.