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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on October 19th, 2017 | by James Ayre


Toyota Will Begin Testing Self-Driving EVs That Talk By 2020

October 19th, 2017 by  

Toyota will begin testing self-driving electric vehicles that feature artificial intelligence (AI) systems capable of talking/engaging actively with drivers/riders by around 2020, the company has revealed.

This news follows on the reveal earlier this year of a concept car along those same lines at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The plans are for these AI-equipped electric vehicles (EVs) to be capable of developing a personalized knowledge of user preferences and habits of various kinds through “deep learning.”

“By using AI technology, we want to expand and enhance the driving experience, making cars an object of affection again,” commented Makoto Okabe, the general manager of Toyota’s EV business planning division.

“Facing competition from rival automakers and tech companies to produce self-driving, intelligent cars, Toyota has committed $1 billion through 2020 to develop advanced automated driving and AI technology,” Reuters reports.

“The Concept-i model, a battery-electric car which will have a cruising range of 300 kilometers (180 miles) on a single charge, will be able to estimate the emotions and alertness of drivers by reading their expressions, actions and tone of voice. Using this information, the vehicle will be able to take over driving responsibilities when necessary — after assessing the driver is too tired to drive safely, for example — and also interact with the driver and passengers.”

This news puts Toyota on a somewhat similar path to the one being taken by fellow auto manufacturers such as GM, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan, and others.

For more information on the efforts of other manufacturers in this area, see:

Honda Aims For Level 4 Autonomous Vehicle Driving Tech By 2025

Baidu & ~30 Other Chinese Firms Working On Self-Driving Vehicle Tech Development In Silicon Valley

Ford To Partner With Lyft On Self-Driving Car Deployment

Waymo Aims To Launch Self-Driving Ride Service Before Year’s End.


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About the Author

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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