The automotive industry is buzzing about a new concept car from Toyota called the Smart Insect Concept, that recently debuted at the CEATEC technology show out in Japan.
On paper, the Insect – short for Information Network Social Electric City Transporter – sounds like an innovative vehicle that could give us a peek at the future of automobiles. But in practice, it turns out the Insect is more of a marketing ploy to generate buzz than have any real-world implications.
By using front-mounted sensors with facial-recognition technology, the Insect essentially can detect and authenticate the driver, greeting them as they approach. Inside the vehicle, a ‘virtual agent’ is used to recognize the driver’s voice and can predict his or her intentions, setting up the vehicle for their driving preferences.
It turns out though that the execution isn’t as flawless as it sounds. According to a report from The Truth About Cars, the vehicle does do its job at recognizing your face, but opening the doors requires an arm-flapping gesture that could be considered borderline embarrassing. Of course it may have been set up that way to show the scope of the technology.
Nonetheless, it does present some interesting ideas on how vehicles could gain the technology to work around its drivers, which could prove valuable in a world where most vehicles on the road are autonomous.
[Source: The Truth About Cars]