Toyota's Concept-i car just wants to be loved

IDG News Service | Jan 6, 2017

We interview Ian Cartabiano, the chief designer of Toyota's Concept-i car.

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Track 1: Toyota’s Concept-I vehicle was one of the stars at CES. With its spherical AI agent Yui, the beautiful LED lit interior, and the geometric designs that make the Concept-I look like something straight out of the future. To find out more, I spoke with Ian Cartibiano, the Concept-I’s chief designer.

2:11
SOT (Ian) “One of the things we really tried to do to get this bond or this connection between you and this vehicle is to give the car a character…(2:27) “The headlamps, the eyes pop open and it kind of winks at you, like a good friend. You’re back, I’m so happy you’re back. Let’s get going.”

8:01
Magdalena (on cam)
“And if the idea is to humanize the car, why is the AI agent represented by a sphere? Why not make something more human-like?”

SOT (Ian) 8:07
“Well you know, when we talk about AI, there’s actually a certain point where you make an AI almost human-like, it becomes creepy.” (8:28) “You want AI to help you and to interact with you, but you don’t want to feel threatened by it. (9:03) “Graphically we went back to human nature, the drawing to really have a communication feeling. So it’s an outer ring, it’s an inner circle, it’s the body and the soul, the car and the driver.”

Track 2: Another feature, the big display on the rear.

SOT (Ian): “So Yui can use external communication, at this point we are saying turning left… when you are able to share more of your intention with other cars and pedestrians, everyone’s driving experience gets better. There’s less road rage.”

15:30
Magdalena (on cam): “The Japanese character you used in the title actually means beloved, so can you talk a little bit…it wasn’t by accident I assume.”

15:44
SOT (Ian) “The kanji that we used in the Concept-i is beloved or the kanji for love. We also thought, wow it’s kind cool because the Concept I the kanji I, AI had a double meaning.”

16:25
SOT (Ian)
“we want to reignite a love for cars.”
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