The Toyota FV2 has made its world premiere at today's Tokyo motor show, previewing a futuristic vehicle designed to connect intuitively with its driver.
A future mobility device designed to create a more intimate relationship between vehicle and driver, which Toyota equates to "the trust and understanding” between a rider and their horse, the Toyota FV2 - for 'Fun Vehicle 2' - is aimed at reaching streets by 2030.
Focusing on the key concept of connectivity, the FV2 – styled by Toyota’s Calty Design Research studio in California – uses voice and image recognition technology to ‘read’ the driver’s moods and respond to their physical condition and emotional state.
Pedals and a conventional steering wheel have both been abandoned, with drivers operating the vehicle by shifting their body weight from either an upright or seated position – akin to skiing or riding a motorbike.
Along with being able to adapt to drivers’ skill levels and suggest destinations based on driving history, the Toyota FV2 communicates with passengers through “emotive imagery” via an augmented reality displayed on the inside of its windscreen.
Driver assist information, including the presence of pedestrians other vehicles in blind spots or at approaching intersections, will join other displayed functions that Toyota says will appeal to ‘digital natives’ – people born, usually in the 1990s, who have interacted with digital technologies all their lives.
Toyota is yet to reveal what will power the FV2, saying it “believes society will ultimately determine which environmental technologies become part of the mainstream.”
“The FV2 will be ready to adopt the optimal powertrain according to the needs of its time – whether that means hydrogen fuel cells or any other technology,” the Japanese car maker said.
The mobility concept also has the ability to change its exterior body colour “at will”. Without detailing how such changes are achieved, Toyota simply states that it occurs by “conveying the emotions and intentions of the vehicle’s artificial intelligence through displays on the body”.
The FV2 concept follows in the footsteps of other connectivity-based concepts such as the three-seat Fun-Vii concept seen at the 2011 Tokyo motor show, the i-Real concept from 2007 and the Simon Humphries-designed Pod concept car that appeared in 2001.