Toyota to highlight reading of driver emotions at Tokyo show

October 16, 2017 by Yuri Kageyama
Toyota to highlight reading of driver emotions at Tokyo show
Toyota Motor Corp. manager Makoto Okabe stands in front of a image of the concept car "TOYOTA Concept-i" series Monday Oct. 16, 2017 in Tokyo. The use of artificial intelligence means cars may get to know drivers as human beings by analyzing their facial expressions, driving habits and social media use. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

Driving sleepy? Hungry? Toyota will be highlighting an array of experimental technologies aimed at improving safety and anticipating drivers' desires at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month.

Toyota Motor Corp. manager Makoto Okabe told reporters Monday that the use of artificial intelligence means cars may get to know drivers as human beings by analyzing their facial expressions, driving habits and social media use.

Such a vehicle might adjust drivers' seats to calm them when they're feeling anxious or jiggle them to make them more alert when they seem sleepy. It might also suggest a stop at a noodle joint along the way.

Despite concerns over potential intrusions into privacy, many automakers will be displaying prototypes of such technologies at the auto show, which opens to the public on Oct. 28.

Toyota's Concept-i series of models, on display at the show, is based on the Japanese word for "love," or "ai," which sounds like "I'' in English. The idea is that your car will become your friend, "more than a machine," Okabe said.

Using cameras to analyze images of drivers' faces, a car can deduce if they are feeling happy or irritated. It might expand and contract a seat to simulate the rhythm of deep breathing to calm a driver who seems jittery, he said.

Toyota to highlight reading of driver emotions at Tokyo show
Toyota Motor Corp. manager Makoto Okabe is silhouetted as he stands in front of a image of the concept car "TOYOTA Concept-i" series Monday Oct. 16, 2017 in Tokyo. The use of artificial intelligence means cars may get to know drivers as human beings by analyzing their facial expressions, driving habits and social media use. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

Since people tend to make certain movements such as yawning or scratching their cheeks when they're tired, a vehicle could detect if a driver is getting drowsy. It might wiggle the seat or trigger an herbal scent known to be invigorating, Okabe explained.

Toyota said it plans to have some of the technology ready for road tests by 2020.

Japanese rival Honda Motor Co. is also showing several concept models with similar technologies. The NeuV can determine stress levels from drivers' facial expressions and voice tones, learning their lifestyles and preferences. So it might make suggestions, "realizing natural communication between driver and mobility," a company release said.

Despite such futuristic talk, the most vehicles around the world now can do with automated technology so far is using sensors to change lanes or back safely into parking lots or stopping before crashing.

Explore further: Toyota forms company to make technology simpler

Related Stories

Toyota starts traffic data service for businesses

May 29, 2013

Toyota is using live-time traffic information from 700,000 Toyota vehicles on Japanese roads to offer what it calls a "big data" service to local governments and businesses that helps drivers during disasters.

Toyota unveils cars with auto pilot

October 11, 2013

Toyota on Friday unveiled the next generation of cars featuring an auto pilot system that will swerve to avoid collisions and also keep to the middle of the road, all without drivers touching the wheel.

Recommended for you

Permanent, wireless self-charging system using NIR band

October 8, 2018

As wearable devices are emerging, there are numerous studies on wireless charging systems. Here, a KAIST research team has developed a permanent, wireless self-charging platform for low-power wearable electronics by converting ...

Facebook launches AI video-calling device 'Portal'

October 8, 2018

Facebook on Monday launched a range of AI-powered video-calling devices, a strategic revolution for the social network giant which is aiming for a slice of the smart speaker market that is currently dominated by Amazon and ...

Artificial enzymes convert solar energy into hydrogen gas

October 4, 2018

In a new scientific article, researchers at Uppsala University describe how, using a completely new method, they have synthesised an artificial enzyme that functions in the metabolism of living cells. These enzymes can utilize ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

koitsu
not rated yet Oct 16, 2017
"Such a vehicle might adjust drivers' seats to calm them when they're feeling anxious or jiggle them to make them more alert when they seem sleepy. It might also suggest a stop at a noodle joint along the way."

Just like a loving mother cuddling her big helpless adult baby. Screw the future.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.