Does the Toyota LQ Concept seem familiar? Well, that's because the vehicle itself isn't entirely new. We first saw it at the 2017 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) as the Concept-i EV. Now, it seems Toyota has updated the Concept-I EV shown two years back and transformed it into the LQ Concept for the upcoming 2019 Tokyo Motor Show.
When it comes to styling, the exterior design has not really changed. The unique pod-shape design with headlights that can project symbols has been largely carried over from the Concept-I. Inside, the cabin of LQ is less wild than the concept shown in 2017 and resembles something similar to a production car. There is now a conventional steering wheel in place of a game controller.
Rather than focusing on aesthetics changes, Toyota has fitted the LQ concept with a new level-4 autonomous driving system. More importantly, it now has a new AI assistant called Yui. Unlike most AI assistants in cars today, the automaker says Yui is designed to “learn from the driver and deliver a personalized mobility experience.” Yui can do this by actually talking to you and then change various things depending on your mood – air-condition temperature, seat position, ambient lighting, and even music. This then would help build an “emotional bond” between the car and the driver.
“Advanced technology gives us the power to match customer lifestyles with new opportunities for excitement and engagement. With the LQ, we are proud to propose a vehicle that can deliver a personalized experience, meet each driver's unique mobility needs, and build an even stronger bond between car and driver,” said LQ development leader Daisuke Ido.
Next summer, Toyota will be launching a Yui app in Japan and will give users the chance to drive the LQ around Tokyo. So yes, the LQ is a concept car that actually works. The lucky few who get to do so will be able to experience the level-4 autonomous EV at work as well as bond with Yui. Hopefully, we get to try it out as well at the Tokyo Motor Show next week.