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Toyota, Line to develop AI-based hands-free tech for drivers

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Toyota Motor Corp. and messaging app provider Line Corp. said Thursday that they will jointly develop hands-free technology for using smartphone apps while driving, by using Line's artificial intelligence platform.

    The new system will enable drivers to search maps, play music and send messages on smartphone through voice commands inside cars, reducing the risk of accidents caused by operating smartphones while driving.

    Using Line's cloud-based AI platform called Clova, or Cloud Virtual Assistant, that can understand voice commands and respond, the two companies aim to commercialize the technology by 2018.

    "We aim to realize a safer, more convenient, and comfortable environment inside vehicles," Shigeki Tomoyama, a Toyota senior managing officer, said at a press conference.

    On the same day, Line also said it has concluded a memorandum of understanding with Itochu Corp. and FamilyMart Co. to develop next-generation convenience stores utilizing AI technology.

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