At this week’s Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda gave the driving world a first look at what some media sources are calling a “smartphone on wheels.” The black, wedge-shaped concept car, dubbed the Toyota Fun-Vii, will further cement the connection between car and cellphone, according to Automotive News.
The Fun-Vii picture show
For the entertainment – some would say distraction – of the passerby, the entirety of the Toyota Fun-Vii’s visible outer surface is a video display screen. Whatever the driver wishes to display, from stock quotes to advertising to pictures from a smartphone, the Fun-Vii smartcar is ready to go.
“Some of you might have thought to yourselves: ‘Is this really a car?’” Toyoda said. “It’s like a smartphone on wheels.”
Navigation concierge will be your auto-pilot
In addition to unprecedented smartphone on wheels inter-connectivity, the Toyota Fun-Vii aims to change the way drivers interact with the road. A 3-D avatar auto-pilot function with augmented reality navigation feedback, which Toyota calls a “navigation concierge,” will function via speech control. Not only will all on-board systems update themselves constantly, but Fun-Vii systems can communicate with other cars on the road, providing feedback to the Fun-Vii driver of such things as cars in the blind spot or social network friends who are nearby.
Fun in the future
Toyota’s current brand slogan in Japan, “Fun to drive, again,” represents what the Fun-Vii has to offer. As Toyoda exclaimed before a Tokyo Motor Show Audience, “If it’s not fun, it’s not a car.”
The Toyota Fun-Vii, while years away from public release, should provide fuel for the dreams of futurists who are seeking a way to merge smartphones, social media, augmented reality and the driving experience.