The company also plans to show off its latest connected car tech at the Consumer Electronics Show.
Toyota is teasing a concept vehicle that puts an emphasis the user experience (UX) in a high-tech cabin for the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show. The automaker also is debuting its new framework for creating connected vehicle and telematics systems.
Toyota is very light on the details about the concept vehicle at the moment and doesn’t even provide a teaser image of it. According to the company’s announcement, the model “highlights the critical importance of UX in the development of highly automated vehicles and robots.”
Given the focus on driver experience, it’s possible this concept could expand on ideas in the Lexus UX crossover concept from the Paris Motor Show. In addition to that model’s sharp-edged exterior, the CUV featured a high-tech interior with a major focus on a three-dimensional human machine interface. The designers replaced the traditional touchscreen with a facetted crystal area that acted as a holographic display. Occupants could touch the structure to input commands. Rather than traditional dials, the instrument panel used a floating globe for displaying information about speed and miles per gallon.
The company also fitted the UX with the futuristic looking Kinetic Seat Concept. They featured flexible, webbed panels from synthetic spider’s silk. The chairs allegedly supported a driver’s weight better than a traditional design.
Toyota has been slower to embrace autonomous driving than companies like Tesla or Japanese rival Nissan, but automaker is starting to pick up the pace. Last year, the company showed off a self-driving Lexus GS that could merge onto freeways and change lanes without driver intervention. Toyota said the tech would be ready by around 2020.
The automaker also has a partnership with Mazda on developing connected cars and other technology. The cooperation could allow these firms to make up ground more quickly while competitors start to put this tech on the road.