Malcolm Flynn | Oct 8, 2012

Toyota has unveiled the ‘Smart Insect’ concept at the recent Createc technology show in Japan.

The single-seat city concept showcases Toyota’s latest driver-sensing technology, with the ability to recognise its driver using facial recognition and body type profiling.

Toyota claims that the Smart Insect can learn from a driver’s behaviour, and then adapt to suit certain preferences.

The systems rely on a bevy of sensors inside and outside the vehicle, and combine with voice recognition software to control most functions with minimal input from the driver.

These functions include automatic opening and closing doors, personalised welcome messages, along with intelligent control of the entertainment system.

Automatic actuation of the Smart Insect’s gullwing doors is specifically provided by Microsoft’s motion-sensing ‘Kinect’ technology.

The Smart Insect’s interior features an inductive charge pad for the driver’s smartphone, with the intention of automatically syncing with the entertainment and navigation systems.

Also suggested is the potential to link with automated home systems to disarm security systems or prepare air conditioning for the driver’s arrival home.

This driver-sensing technology was first demonstrated with Toyota’s ‘Pod’ concept at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, although the Pod was focused on demonstrating the driver’s mood than adapting to suit it.

The Smart Insect’s unveiling follows recent reports that Toyota is working on bringing such technology to production cars, with a primary focus on enhancing driver safety.

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