Your Next Toyota Could Have a Virtual Sunroof

Toyota has filed a patent for a virtual sunroof that could show moving images of the car’s exterior.

This patent is for a ceiling mounted display that would essentially function like a sunroof, showing the environment above you as you drive along via a camera feed. It wouldn’t necessarily show an exact image of the outside, but would instead combine the foreground, mid-ground and background layers, scrolling them at different speeds to create the illusion of speed. This wouldn’t be so much for the passengers to look out of, then, as it would be to create an illusion of speed for the driver and passengers.

It may seem like a bit of a silly, over engineered invention but we get the feeling that automakers will begin to look at different gimmicks like these in order to make the experience of driving electric vehicles more visceral or exciting. This particular invention could give you the feeling of riding in a convertible, in theory, making the driving experience a bit more fun and engaging. This technology might also be used to create a sense of airiness in an otherwise tight and cramped autonomous pod.

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It sounds sort of fun, but we think we’ll stick with the fresh air provided by a regular old sunroof, please and thank you.

With additional reporting by Dennis Chung