Toyota FV2 Concept Incinerates Your Preconceptions in Shanghai

Written By: EightySix

Toyota FC2 Concept - 2015 Shanghai Auto Show
Photo Credit - WANG ZHAO/AFP/GETTY IMAGEs

Imagine you have no car. No idea even of what one is. All you have is a need to go places and an unlimited array of technology. What would you build?

Would it look something like the all-electric Toyota FV2 Concept, which continued its world tour at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show? Originally unveiled at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show, the FV2 is a totally unique take on personal transportation.


The Horsecycle

It's like nothing you've seen. The wheels are in a diamond formation, with one in front, one in back and two on the sides.

It has no steering wheel or pedals. It carries one person. The driver, seated or standing, accelerates by leaning forward, decelerates by leaning back and steers by leaning to either side.

The designers intend the FV2 to gradually learn about the owner, learning his or her style, preferences and habits. Using facial and voice recognition, it can respond to and reflect the owner's moods. It may suggest destinations if it detects fatigue, stress, joy or hunger.

Most exterior surfaces on the FV2 are actually display screens. Why paint your car when you can change color at will? It can display images to express the owner's personality. It can also change hues and patterns to communicate the owner's mood.

The FV2 is part of the Toyota Heart Project, which studies how people and machines can communicate through gestures, voice, expressions and recollection of past experience. Like a trusty steed, this vehicle will become an extension of the driver. The machine aims to develop affinity and trust.


Building a Relationship

Does a car that can learn about you freak you out? Don't you and your ride already have a relationship? Chances are it's mostly one way. You named it. You talk to it. You care for it. You decorate it and make it an expression of your personality.

The FV2 wants to give back. It wants to learn your aspirations and help you reach them. It wants to make you happy. If it senses loneliness, it might drive you to your girlfriend's house.


What's Real and What's Fantasy?

Concept cars are a fun way to dream about the future, but what from this project will truly affect our lives?

The exterior displays look like intriguing gadgets. What tuner or business wouldn't want full customization over color and pattern of the car? Put your logo, tattoo, face or message across the hood, doors or roof.

The diamond-formation wheels are a fresh idea. They tilt as the vehicle banks into turns, giving car traction with motorcycle maneuverability.

The biggest breakthrough may be the lack of steering wheel or pedals. Consider the possibilities for the handicapped. A vehicle controlled by voice, facial expressions or small gestures would open the world up to the physically disabled.

The Toyota FV2 may never see the road in its current form, but it's a fascinating idea. What facets of this project do you think should become reality?