Toyota (NYSE: TM) Smart INSECT

Brian Hicks

Written By Brian Hicks

Posted October 4, 2012

Would you like to ride in an insect? Make that Toyota’s (NYSE: TM) concept car, the Smart INSECT—a tiny, single-seat electric car stuffed with fancy electronics.

Toyota INSECTThe INSECT will have a top speed of 37 mph, along with an all-electric drivetrain. But the real focus is on the plethora of motion sensors, voice recognition, and behavior prediction software upon which, according to Toyota, the next wave of communications-linked systems will rely.

The cloud-based Toyota Smart Center will act as a hub, connecting the INSECT’s driver with his home. This means the car could automatically set a route to the workplace or turn on lights if inclement weather is imminent.

Motion sensors will use facial recognition technology to detect approaching drivers or other pedestrians, and the car may use light flashes or spoken words to greet people. When you approach the door, it will open automatically.

And since the communications work both ways, the driver can conceivably oversee things at home while on the road.

The INSECT (which expands to “Information Network Social Electric City Transporter”) is being showcased on Toyota’s stand at CEATEC Japan 2012, an exhibition for advanced technologies currently underway in Japan’s Chiba City.

*Image courtesy of Green Car Reports

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