Toyota Wants Its Most Advanced Cars to Do Some Very Strange Things (Will You Let Them?)

Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek. 

How many friends do you really have? 

How many can you rely on? 

They’ve all got their own lives, haven’t they? Sometimes, they can’t be around when you need them.

I’ve been thinking about your predicament and I have an idea.

It’s come to me courtesy of Toyota. 

You see, the company is developing a new range of cars that it currently calls Concept-i Car.

And, as the Wall Street Journal reports, one of the joyous components of these cars is Yui.

Yui is truly your friend.

Yui will be there whenever you need him (or her).  

Yui wants to be your Facebook friend. 

Yui wants to follow you on Twitter and see your Snapchat pictures.

Yui wants to talk to you about everything from Louis CK’s twisted jokes to Russian collusion.

Think of this as Yui, Louis and the News.

That’s the power of love that Yui has for you.

You see, Yui is a built-in personal assistant that wants to be so intimate with your mood that it even knows whether you really want to drive.

Or whether Yui should take over.

Oh, you know what’s going to happen in the end, don’t you? 

Yui is going to take over, whether you like it or not.

Yui’s just being polite for now, because that’s the way it’s being programmed. 

Yui is just like the lover for whom you have starry eyes, so you hand over the details of your bank accounts. 

Before you know it, Yui will be short for Yui’ll Do What You’re Told.

In the meantime, however, imagine you’re still in control. 

What would you like Yui to say? 

I’ve heard at least one parent at Inc suggest that Yui should just intone “Keep Your Hands To Yourself” non-stop.

For myself, I would adore it if, anytime I have a passenger, Yui keeps intoning: “Mind The Gap.”

For other passengers that I don’t like, perhaps Yui could pretend to be a Lyft driver who just won’t shut up. 

I, as the actual driver, would just throw up my hands (Yui would catch the wheel, naturally) and say: “Technology! What can you do, eh?”

I also adore the thought of Yui understanding my moods. 

If it could offer me swing reminders as I’m on the way to the golf course, or discuss the finer merits of Real Betis’s surprise start to the La Liga season, I’d be positively giddy.

If it could whisper synopses of new books that I’d love to read, but never will, that would be a godsend. 

Imagine, too, if Yui could offer me a full one-hour shrink session as I drive to wine-tasting in Napa or Sonoma. 

“Chris, your id has taken over the car. Please consider the role it has played in wrecking most of your personal relationships. We don’t want the same thing to happen with this car, do we?”

Dear Toyota, I think this Yui may be a stroke of genius. 

Just one thing. Please don’t make the car look like a Prius. Anything even remotely like a Prius. 

Or my id might take over.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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