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New Toyota concept car can read drivers' emotions

Toyota Motor Corp.'s concept car series, the Concept-i that will be unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show is seen. (Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Corp.)

Toyota Motor Corp. announced on Oct. 16 its plan to unveil a concept car series at the Tokyo Motor Show 2017 opening in late October that can read drivers' emotions using artificial intelligence (AI) while using automatic driving technology.

The Concept-I, written using the Chinese kanji character for "love," or "ai", will have three models: four- and two-seated electric vehicles, and a three-wheeled electric vehicle for stand-up riding. The vehicles' AI can read drivers' emotions and preferences and can suggest comfortable, safe driving using the communication function. The cars' AI comprehends drivers' five types of emotions, including "happy," "nervous" and "exhausted," by reading their expressions, motions and conversation.

The AI function also presents topics such as restaurants which the driver is likely interested in and makes the driver relaxed by moving the seat slowly if they appear irritated. If the driver is exhausted, the AI will try to ensure safety by switching to automatic driving mode. Although Toyota has not yet decided when it will place the new concept cars on the market, the company will start experiments of the vehicles on public roads around 2020.

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