The expression "road rage" usually refers to infuriated drivers who lose
their temper and lash out at other motorists. But what if a car could
also express anger, crouching low on its wheel base and glowering with
red headlights like a lion about to pounce?
Four inventors working for Toyota in Japan have won a patent for a car
that they say can help drivers communicate better by glaring angrily
at another car cutting through traffic as well as appear to cry, laugh,
wink or just look around.
The inventors explain in the patent that they want drivers to have more
than a one-note horn and on-off headlights to signal other drivers. The
horn sounds the same, they write, whether a driver is asking for
permission to cut in front of another car or showing gratitude for
having been allowed to cut in front, so other people often do not know
what the honking is about. That was not good enough for the inventors -
Kenji Mori, Naoto Kitagawa, Akihiro Inukai and Simon Humphries - who work
for Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha of Japan, which owns the U.S. patent
issued last month. In it, they describe a car with an antenna that wags,
an adjustable body height, headlights that vary in intensity and hood
slits and ornamentation designed to look like eyebrows, eyelids and
tears, all of which could glow with colored lights to create "moods"
and physical features.
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Technology Manager, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics