Japanese automotive giants Toyota have filed a patent for a car fragrance system that is also linked to vehicle security. This fragrance system can spray tear gas on intruders inside the car. The patent was filed in 2018, but has not made its way into any production car yet.
The Problem of Car Thieves
Car thefts have always been a problem. Manufacturers are adopting various anti-theft precautions. Earlier, cars used to come equipped with alarms and immobilizers. Alarms do not actively prevent car theft, however, and need people near the car to respond. Immobilizers can be bypassed these days, with increasing technological advancements.
Toyota’s patent (US 2019/0070937) is for a vehicle fragrance dispenser. The patent reads–“A vehicle fragrance dispenser includes: a fragrance generation section configured to perfume air within a vehicle using of a plurality of different perfumes, a transceiver section configured to communicate with a mobile data terminal of an occupant, and a controller configured to associate and register anyone out of the plurality of perfumes with individual identification information of the mobile data terminal of the occupant, and, in a case in which the transceiver section has received individual identification formation of the mobile data terminal of the occupant, the controller controls the fragrance generation section to perfume the air within the vehicle using a perfume associated with the received individual identification information”.
Tear Gas for Toyota thieves
As the abstract shows, this offers a lot of customizability to an owner. This means it can detect the person inside the car. It will detect if an unrecognized person is operating the car. In such cases, the car would spray tear gas on this person.
However, such a system is risky, because it is not unlikely for it to recognize occupants. The car might spray tear gas on the owner. Worse, it could do so while driving on the road, and this will lead to accidents. The car will get immobilized if an unauthorized person is inside it. Using tear gas, while is an exciting idea, but it is dangerous as well.
This patent may never reach production. It does, however, showcase ingenious thinking by Toyota engineers. While we are unsure of the need for tear gas inside a car, the other aspects of the design are useful. Who wouldn’t love to be inside a car that can sense people and spray fragrances accordingly?
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