A lot of people say cars have a face, but Toyota's Concept-i car actually does, right down to the eyes that will greet you with a wink and color changing lights inside so you know how your AI friend between the wheels is feeling at that moment. For Toyota, the Concept-i is so much more than simple transportation.
Why You Should Care
CES isn't just the place techies go to talk about new gadgets coming in the next year. It also offers a glimpse into what tech will look like 5, 10 or 20 years down the line, too. And Toyota's Concept-i is one of those things that makes us feel like the future can't get here soon enough.
The Concept-i isn't just a car; it's your friend. It has a built-in AI named Yui that can figure how you feel and adjust its behavior to suit or improve your current state of mind. It will play relaxing music if you are stressed out, ask you about your day, and remind you that you need to call your Mom on her birthday. It's also one of the best looking things with four wheels I've ever seen at CES.
And for those that don't want to completely give up on the feeling of putting the pedal to the metal, the Concept-i still has a steering wheel that you can throw around with wild abandon, or choose to ignore if you don't feel like slogging through traffic for the thousandth time.
Pricing and availability
Look, this is a concept car, which means it will probably never get made. But if I could choose just one of the concepts I've seen at CES to be put into production, the Concept-i would be it.
If this is Toyota's vision for our vehicular future, then I'm all in. Not only is the Concept-i one of the coolest looking prototypes ever made, it embraces a world where human driving and autonomous driving live in harmony, and it has the smarts and the emotions to be less of a form of transportation and more of a friend.