The Sunday Times Driving Placeholder

Tokyo show: Toyota to show FV2 concept that can change colour as the mood takes you

See my road rage in technicolour


A car that can reflect its driver’s emotions by changing colour is being shown at the Tokyo motor show later this month.

The Fun Vehicle 2 (FV2) is among five concepts the car maker is presenting under its banner, Fun to Drive Again. To achieve its instant colour change, the single-seat FV2 has an external OLED (organic light-emitting diode) skin, the same material found in advanced, ultra-thin TV screens.

Because it is flexible, the material is applied to the curved surfaces of the FV2’s body, in effect turning it into a mobile TV screen.  As a result, it can show any colour or image, such as a photograph or an advertisement, the driver chooses. Mood-sensing technology can trigger a change in colour or imagery to, for example if road rage strikes, something red and angry.

Toyota first showed the technology on its Fun-Vii (Vehicle Interactive Internet) concept at the 2011 Tokyo motor show but has since developed the idea as OLED has advanced. However, the material’s durability is still an issue for car designers.

Meanwhile, not only can the FV2 change colour or show moving images on its body, it can also be steered by the driver shifting their weight, much like a cyclist controls a bike. In place of a steering wheel, the concept car has pressure sensors in the seat that detect the driver’s body movements.

Of course, the FV2 wouldn’t be an extreme Japanese concept without seeking inspiration from things far beyond the automotive; in its case, the noble horse.  Toyota says that using mood-sensing technology to choose an appropriate route selected from the vehicle’s accumulated driving history, the FV2 seeks to build a relationship between car and driver, much like that between horse and rider.

With apologies to the Lone Ranger: Hi-YOLED, Silver!