What Was That Weird Car in the Toyota Commercials During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics?

We are finally getting to watch the 2020 Tokyo Olympics here in the year of our Lord, 2021. That being said, there is no way the Tokyo Olympics weren’t destined to be strange at the very least. It seems Toyota decided to follow suit with its commercials showing the very weird and very futuristic Toyota LQ concept. And it to the list of automotive oddities that have sprung from the COVID times.

The Toyota LQ concept car was shown during the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
Toyota LQ concept | Toyota

What’s up with this new Toyota LQ concept from the Olympics commercial? 

Although many of us probably missed it, the Toyota LQ concept debuted in the Fall of 2019 at the Tokyo Motor Show, no less. The LQ was promised to be the car of the future and I guess that future has come.

According to Gear Patrol, Toyota said its goal with the LQ was to have the car “create an emotional bond with its driver.” 

How can the Toyota LQ conscept create a bond with its driver? 

Interior of the Toyota LQ concept
Toyota LQ Concept | Toyota

The futuristic Toyota LQ has two sides that make it the car of the future. One of which is the A.I. program, Yui, which Toyota describes as the “onboard artificial intelligence agent.” This robot is meant to allow something called a “personal mobility experience”. 

The second feature is an SAE Level 4 autonomous driving capability that allows the LQ to drive itself within a geofenced area. This driving mode is said to be able to function without any driver inputs at all.

Of course, Toyota is not very close to being able to sell customers a car even close to this yet. Like Jeep’s most recently futuristic commercial, the Toyota commercial during the Tokyo Olympics is merely a look forward to what could be. Even though Toyota is likely a good handful of years from being able to offer something like the LQ concept, Toyota just added a new infotainment interface. The new Toyota software isn’t at Yui levels, yet but it’s a step in that direction. 

It’s not Toyota’s fault the Olympics were late

Part of what makes this all so weird is that the LQ was already shown two years ago, and we are only now seeing more information about it. Well, this Toyota LQ ad was supposed to air back when the 2020 Olympics were supposed to be in 2020. What we are left with is a futuristic car that isn’t even possible to make yet but that debuted two years ago. This is doubly strange when you consider the lateness of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. 

In fact, Gear Patrol notes that 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. 

Toyota is looking forward when it should be looking at the road it’s currently on

It’s pretty common for any tech-driven company to constantly be looking toward the future. However, Toyota has been catching a lot of grief over the past few years for using outdated tech and engines. While the future looks bright for Toyota, many customers would love to see, some of this effort shown to the current line. 

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