That Weird Toyota Car from the Olympics Commercials? Here's What It Is

Toyota wants you to start your impossible, with a car that is currently impossible to build.

toyota lq concept
Toyota

The Tokyo 2020 Olympics are finally happening in 2020. And if you've been watching on NBC or streaming online, you've likely noticed a prevalent Toyota commercial featuring a futuristic vehicle you have not seen before. What is that weird car that Toyota keeps showing? It's called the LQ Concept.

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What is the Toyota LQ Concept?
toyota lq concept
Toyota

Toyota debuted the LQ concept in Fall 2019 at the Tokyo Motor Show, an evolution of Toyota's Concept-i "car of the future" from 2017. Toyota said its goal with the LQ was to have the car "create an emotional bond with its driver."

The LQ includes two main features. Yui, which Toyota describes as an "onboard artificial intelligence agent" that monitors the driver to provide a "personal mobility experience." The car also features SAE Level 4 autonomous driving, which allows the car to operate itself within a geofenced area with no driver input.

When will Toyota sell you a car like that? Not for a while. Toyota does have a new user interface debuting though it is far from Yui's capability. And Toyota's progress on autonomous driving is a limited rollout of their Level 2 Lexus Teammate tech on the 2022 Lexus LS 500h.

Why is Toyota showing you the LQ concept?
toyota lq concept
Toyota

Well, Toyota had likely planned this global ad campaign for when the Olympics were supposed to happen in 2020. Toyota had planned a "Toyota Yui Project Tours 2020" program of public test drives coinciding with the Olympics, which did not occur for covid-related reasons.

All manufacturers like to point to their cutting-edge future rather than the present. That may be especially true for Toyota, which — despite being a global leader for hybrids — has drawn criticism for lagging on electric vehicles. Though multiple Toyota and Lexus electric cars, including an electric pickup truck, should arrive over the next few years.

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toyota tacoma
Toyota

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