The mention of Artificial Intelligence (AI) often conjures up images of sentient robots and apocalyptic futures. However, that’s not the reality we’re facing. AI is here to extend human capabilities, automate cumbersome tasks, and make life more enjoyable and efficient.
Let’s get the hype out of the way and focus on the transformative impact AI is making—especially in the automotive world, featuring none other than Toyota.
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Pioneering Safety Since 2016
Toyota has been at the forefront of integrating AI technologies into its enterprise and products for quite some time now. In 2016, the company launched Safety Connect, a cloud-based system engineered to provide robust vehicular safety.
Powered by Drivelink from Toyota Connected North America (TCNA), Safety Connect uses key vehicle data to notify call centers if a collision occurs. It’s designed to save crucial seconds, offering a lifeline to drivers who may need immediate help.
Voice-Activated Magic in Your Car
Simultaneously, Toyota innovated in other areas too. Enter the “Hey Toyota” and “Hey Lexus” Virtual Agents, designed to make voice-activated control a reality. Whether it’s audio, climate control, or a friendly joke, these Virtual Agents launched in 2021 and are making driving an AI-enhanced experience.
Attention to the Little Things
Now, you may think AI is just for the big things, like collision detection. Think again! Toyota has engineered machine learning algorithms that focus on what they term as ‘micro-collisions.’ These are minor bumps and scratches that traditional systems would ignore. By identifying these minor events, Toyota is ensuring that both vehicle and passengers are in optimal condition.
Proactive Maintenance for Peace of Mind
Let’s shift gears to maintenance. A modern connected Toyota car is replete with sensors. These sensors feed into machine learning models that predict maintenance needs—from batteries and brakes to tires and oil. This predictive maintenance suite aims to pre-empt component failures, offering you a seamless driving experience.
Transforming the Auto Industry
Ted Ogawa, President and CEO of Toyota Motor North America, sums it up well: “AI is accelerating our transformation into a mobility company, and we have just scratched the surface.” He also highlighted significant investments in AI talent at TCNA, emphasizing the role of this talent in steering Toyota into the future.
AI-Powered Navigation with Destination Assist
Imagine needing help with directions while driving. Earlier, you’d call an agent for assistance. Starting May 2023, Drivelink introduced an AI-powered Destination Assist that automates this process. The result? The average call time dropped from 102 to 62 seconds, with a 92% completion rate.
The Creative Side of AI: Generative Intelligence
Generative AI takes the potential up a notch. In a recent event at the New York International Auto Show, guests could use Generative AI to create pictures of the new 2023 Lexus models in a variety of landscapes. This is just one example of how Toyota is leveraging advanced AI to offer more personalized, creative experiences.
Sustainability and Ease with AI Manuals
Yes, even the humble owner’s manual is getting an AI revamp. In the near future, your questions about dashboard icons will be answered in real-time by Generative AI, eliminating the need to wade through bulky paper manuals.
AI for Play and Convenience
Think about playing “I Spy” in your car but in an entirely new way, using internet data and Generative AI to enhance the game. It’s not just about making driving safer or more efficient; it’s also about making it more fun.
Responsible AI Practices for the Long Run
The newly formed Enterprise AI group at Toyota aims to make these AI dreams a reality while also ensuring responsible practices. Coordinated efforts are being made across all divisions to make sure that AI is used ethically and sustainably.
Conclusion: The Road Ahead
Toyota is demonstrating that AI can serve as a force multiplier for its business transformation. “We’re not just dabbling in AI; we’re invested for the long haul,” said Brian Kursar, TCNA Chief Technology Officer.
As we navigate the paths of technology and mobility, one thing is for sure: AI at Toyota isn’t just about the future. It’s about the present, enriching our driving experiences in ways we’ve only imagined until now.