• Toyota has banned boring, now touting connected, fun cars

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    toyota20140930THE planet’s biggest—and also tops in the Philippines—carmaker at the recent 5th Philippine International Motor Show put on its stand a three-seat, electric-powered concept car whose design is heavily inspired by smart phones. Called the Toyota Fun-vii, which stands for vehicle, interactive, internet, the car has a massive LED screen for an exterior, which allows for a completely personalized display.

    A sort of a “mobile mood ring,” the Fun-vii can instantly change inside and out. Its body can be used as a display space, able to change color and display content. This allows the entire vehicle to function as a terminal for displaying messages or other information.

    The Fun-vii’s interior can also be a display space as it adjusts to match the mood of the moment. Content such as navigation information is blended seamlessly into the interior through the use of augmented reality. The car’s “navigation concierge” calls out driving information and guidance through a vocal interface. A network update function makes sure the software versions for the car’s drive, control and multimedia systems are always fresh.

    True to its name, the Fun-vii connects with roadways, surrounding vehicles and infrastructure, capable of detecting cars hidden behind blind spots in advance or “talking” friends who are driving nearby. It can even recognize its driver when he/she walks up to it.

    Operation of the Fun-vii is not limited to inside the vehicle alone as some of its functions can be accessed remotely via a smart phone or other mobile devices.

    Toyota said the fun-vii “heralds a not-too-distant future where people, cars and society are linked” together.

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