The Toyota LQ concept was one of the star eco-friendly vehicles of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games fleet. According to a report from Chunichi Shimbun, Toyota has built approximately 20 units of the LQ.
Capable of SAE Level 4 autonomous driving, the Toyota LQ is a further evolved version of the Toyota Concept-i. The futuristic vehicle was the lead vehicle for the men’s marathon of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Prior to that, it served in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Torch Relay. On 5 August 2021, one of the limited-production units Toyota built for the event went on public display at Toyota Ecoful Town, located in Toyota City (Aichi Prefecture), Japan. Toyota City has released a few pictures of the concept car from the exhibition.
Design & Interior
The LQ concept has a futuristic design and a cab-forward layout. Inside, the concept version has a minimalistic dashboard void of digital screens and features an advanced artificial intelligence-powered Yui. An augmented reality head-up display projects all the driving information on the windshield. Functions like air-conditioning, lighting, and other features are controllable using interactive voice communications.
The concept has an advanced seating system. Its seats have multiple inflatable air bladders and in-seat air conditioning system that are automatically activated according to the driver. If the system senses that the driver is tired, it inflates the air bladders to make the seat in an upright position and directs cool air to keep the driver alert. The LQ concept also has an automated valet parking system, where the car automatically goes to an assigned parking spot and parks itself with the help of multiple cameras, sonar and radar, 2D road mapping, cameras installed in the parking lot and a control centre.
Toyota LQ not part of the automaker’s future lineup
Toyota’s focus is on developing and launching electric cars from the concepts it showcased during a press conference on December 14, 2021 in Japan, where Toyota’s strategy for achieving carbon neutrality through battery electric vehicles was detailed. These concepts include additions to the bZ family in the form of SUVs and crossovers, and non-bZ SUVs, crossovers and small cars. Toyota is also ensuring it can mass produce electrified cars at its plants in Europe, by bringing in an E3 platform which blends modules from the TNGA-C and e-TNGA platform. As such, these developments will keep Toyota occupied and a production version of the LQ is not in the carmaker’s business plan.
Toyota Solid State Battery Trials conducted on LQ
Aside from its PR activities during the Olympics, the LQ has also served as a test bed for Toyota’s solid state battery technology. Toyota is investing $13.6 billion in battery technologies by the end of this decade, and solid state batteries are the evolution of the current Li-ion cells, and major carmakers have announced their intent to switching to solid state by the end of this decade.
According to Toyota’s Vice President of Mobility Communications Shiro Tachimoto, in August 2020, the company obtained license plate registration for vehicles equipped with solid state batteries and started conducting test drives. Tachimoto was speaking to TheDrive.com.
Featured Image Source: Twitter/Toyota YUI Project2020