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Green Cars, Artificial Intelligence in the Limelight at Tokyo Motor Show

TOKYO – Eco-friendly vehicles and Artificial Intelligence were the main attractions at the Tokyo Motor Show which opened Wednesday with dozens of new models being unveiled.

More than 150 companies from 10 countries showcasing at least 70 new models are participating in the 45th edition of the show which is held every two years and will continue until Nov. 5.

The biggest names of the automobile industry are set to present at the exhibition how they are adapting to increasingly strict emission norms.

General Motors and Ford, both from the United States, were absent from the expo for the 5th consecutive time and Japanese manufacturers were the main participants, showcasing the latest concept cars and prototypes.

Toyota is displaying its Fine-Comfort Ride, a hydrogen fuel cell luxury saloon, which has a range of 1,000 kilometers once charged, around 50 percent more than the Toyota Mirai, which has similar technology.

The Japanese manufacturer is also exhibiting two hybrid technology cars HV Sports and TJ Cruiser, apart from the battery-powered bus Toyota Sora, which it plans to start selling by 2018, keeping the Tokyo 2020 Olympics in sight.

“We have no doubt that Electric Vehicles (EVs) will be one of the key solutions in the near future. That doesn’t mean we are moving away from fuel cells,” Toyota Executive vice president Didier Leroy said at a press briefing, Kyodo news agency reported.

Despite being a pioneer in hydrogen vehicles, Toyota has lagged behind in the electric car segment, a market which it is now targeting through a tie-up with Mazda Motor Corp.

Japan’s largest carmaker is also showing three vehicles with the “Concept-i” technology, with autonomous driving and AI.

Nissan unveiled its concept car Leaf Nismo, an improved variant of its EV Leaf, launched earlier this month amid a faulty inspection scandal in its Japanese factories.

The carmaker is also exhibiting the fifth upgraded version of its Paramedic Concept ambulance, a new electric delivery vehicle the e-NV200 Fridge and upgraded versions of its Serena minivan and Skyline sports car.

Other carmakers including Honda and Suzuki have also put their EV prototypes on display at the show, some of them equipped with AI technologies.

Mitsubishi Motors has unveiled a concept car which uses AI to follow voice commands of the driver for different functions, like controlling the windscreen wipers, the air conditioning or the lights.

The AI assistant is capable of analyzing the driver’s behavior and conversations in order to make suggestions.

Visitors at the Tokyo Motor Show can experience what it is like to drive in connected cars, through a virtual simulation which allows them to share real time information, such as road conditions or location of gas stations, with other drivers.


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