The one-off LQ that will be shown at next week’s Tokyo motor show is claimed to “deliver a personalised mobility experience” with technology to “build an emotional bond between car and driver”.
Development leader Daisuke Ido said the LQ uses artificial intelligence to better understand the driver and personalise various aspects of the vehicle accordingly.
“With the LQ, we are proud to propose a vehicle that can deliver a personalised experience, meet each driver’s unique mobility needs, and build an even stronger bond between car and driver,” said Ido.
Key to the machine learning technology is a virtual personal assistant Toyota calls Yui, which was developed in conjunction with a mobile phone provider, music streaming service and travel company.
As well as speaking to the occupants, Yui can use lighting colours and music to “increase alertness or reduce stress”.
It can also adjust the air-conditioning and even the fragrance within the cabin.
Toyota also says Yui can provide information about the route or area the car is being drive, all tailored to what the driver may be interested in.
One of the more interesting features is seats with “alertness and relaxation functions”, claimed to be a world first.
Using air bladders in the seats the car can adjust the occupant’s posture depending on their mood, all with the aim of increasing alertness, such as when the car detects the driver is getting drowsy.
Fitted with level four autonomous driving — whereby the car can operate without any driver intervention in certain situations — the LQ can then switch its focus to relaxing the driver when the car is in control.
The Toyota LQ also has an augmented reality head-up display developed in conjunction with Panasonic. It monitors eye movements and projects a 3D display that takes into account what the driver is seeing through the windscreen; navigation commands may be virtually projected on the road the driver is about to turn on, for example.
Artificial intelligence is becoming increasingly important in vehicles, touching everything from drive to infotainment systems.
Mercedes-Benz is currently rolling out its latest MBUX infotainment system, which uses artificial intelligence to learn what the driver wants and customise a virtual personal assistant, even offering suggestions of routes or radio stations.
And Kia created a concept car that had a “space of emotive driving” that could monitor an occupant’s emotional state by monitoring the heart rate, facial expressions and the electrical conductivity of the skin. It could then adjust the ambience of the cabin right down to the infotainment, ventilation and ambient lighting.