Free Association
We’re a fully remote
agency based in the U.S.

Toyota Research Institute

Mobility with soul,
AI at heart.


Working in collaboration with Toyota’s R&D division, we brought to life the second generation of the LQ Concept vehicle and its embedded AI Agent, YUI. Together, the LQ concept and YUI embody Toyota’s vision for the future of mobility. With AI deeply integrated across the advanced LQ vehicle, we were able to orchestrate the transformative possibilities of driver-AI partnership.


  • Product & UX Strategy
  • Product Leadership
  • UX Orchestration
  • Conversational Design
  • Sound & Motion Direction
  • Visual Design System
  • UX Prototyping
  • Interactive Demo Direction

We developed a holistic user experience for the LQ concept with YUI at the heart. Outfitted with a digital instrument cluster, 3D HUD, spatial audio, LED illumination and haptics, our goal was to orchestrate a harmonious driving experience across all touchpoints.

Contextually Aware

The assistant acts as the eyes, ears and heartbeat of the vehicle—optimizing the driving experience for performance, comfort and fun.

Empathetic & Adaptive

YUI adapts its presence based on environment, mood, number of passengers in the vehicle and other multi-input factors.


Over time, the assistant becomes uniquely molded to each user—learning to anticipate routines, preferences and builds towards personal aspirations.

Portability Focused

Moving fluidly with daily life, YUI brings its deep knowledge of users into each new Toyota vehicle, device or service you pair it with.

"With the LQ, we are proud to propose a vehicle that can deliver a personalized experience and build an even stronger bond between car and driver.”

Daisuke Ido
Group Manager, Special Projects

YUI learns each individual driver’s preferences and adapts to serve them best as Toyota’s first Artificial Emotionally Intelligent (AEI) assistant. Our work invigorated a second generation of YUI with an updated personality and voice, a new visual appearance, and a broad inventory of skills.

Multi-dimension Personality

Designed to harmonize with any user, YUI matches its behavior and tone with grace and purpose, inspired by the Japanese expression “omotenashi.”

Universally Accepted

To foster an immediate connection with users, YUI’s voice was designed to transcend age and nationality while remaining distinctly charming and friendly.

Expressive & Clear

YUI combines color, gesture, tone and haptics to reinforce situational messaging ranging from playful discovery to the calm delivery of critical information.

At the Ready

Instantly accessible when invoked and appearing intuitively when a myrid of factors are triggered—YUI serves as a source of action, access and direction.

Like driving with a friend who just gets you, YUI anticipates needs and guides users to inspiring points-of-interest or the best cup of coffee on the road. As a vigilant copilot, YUI helps users stay alert, on track or can take the wheel should an emergency situation ever arise.

"This vision is built on an understanding that mobility goes beyond physical transportation to include the human need to be moved and engaged emotionally.”

Daisuke Ido
Group Manager, Special Projects



All Work

We’re a fully remote
agency based in the U.S.