Toyota Research Institute (TRI) is a special organizational unit of Toyota focused on developing products and technologies that can enhance the quality of life for individuals and society. On Tuesday, the division unveiled its latest innovation. Researchers unveiled a new generative artificial intelligence technique that can improve the vehicle design process and provide designers with access to new features.
New features will help accelerate the development of new vehicles
Avinash Balachandran, Director of the Human Interactive Driving Division at TRI, whose team has been working on the technology, said, “Generative AI tools are often used for design inspiration, but they cannot handle the complex technical and safety aspects that are part of real car design.” This is also why engineers often reject initial design proposals as they have to work with various technical constraints. The repetitive optimization processes also often slow down the transition to production and sales.
Balachandran claims that the new AI tool will change this and adds, “The technique combines Toyota’s traditional technical expertise with the capabilities of modern generative artificial intelligence. AI directly incorporates technical data, such as aerodynamic resistance, ground clearance, or dimensions, into the design process.” Using special techniques, designers can also modify their initial sketches. For example, designers can work with text, change the shape of the body, and more.
Aerodynamics is an important factor in range optimization
The team has simultaneously focused on using artificial intelligence to improve aerodynamics, which is a critical factor affecting the range of electric vehicles. The incorporation of these techniques could help Toyota design electric vehicles more efficiently. This is confirmed by Takero Kato, President of Toyota BEV, who states that reducing resistance is a fundamental requirement for improving the aerodynamics of electric vehicles and maximizing their range.
The innovation comes less than a week after Toyota unveiled new technologies to accelerate the development and production of electric vehicles. From 2026 to 2028, the Japanese manufacturer plans to introduce a series of next-generation batteries for electric vehicles, which the company claims will double the range compared to the current electric model, the bZ4X.