• Oct 4, 2012
Just like automakers have started invading the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the same trend might be starting at the CEATEC show in Japan. Last week, we showed you a rendering of the Toyota Smart INSECT, but now we're getting our first live look at the single-seat electric vehicle.

Although its design is very bug-like, the Smart INSECT's name is actually an acronym that stands for "Information Network Social Electric City Transporter," and it is a smart vehicle in that it allows users to stay connected in the same manner they can with a smartphone. That isn't to say this car doesn't look the part of its INSECT name with a bug-eyed face and wing-like doors, but this concept is all about showing of the technology.

Some of the tech gadgetry found inside the car includes motion sensors, voice recognition and even Toyota's cloud-based "Smart Center." Using Microsoft Kinect, the car can recognize when the driver is approaching the vehicle and open the corresponding door depending on which side of the car they are on. Once inside, the driver can connect to a virtual operator to control systems like navigation and audio, and it can also connect to the driver's home via a smartphone to control systems like door locks and air conditioning.

In what seems to be more of an exercise of what kind of connectivity can be delivered in cars rather than showing off an actual car, Toyota says it has no plans to make production version of the Smart INSECT.

Madoka Isojima of Autoblog Japan contributed to this story.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 11 Comments
      RomanM
      • 2 Years Ago
      I would so love to have this!! In NYC it would be perfection, I could ride b/w cars, park anywhere, just like a motorcycle but all season, and don't have to wear a helmet
      Ducman69
      • 2 Years Ago
      That narrow of a wheelbase on vehicle that tall that doesn't lean is a prime example of engineers going "full retard".
        GoodCheer
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Your center of gravity is about at your navel, which will sit less than 2' off the ground, exactly in the center of the car. Under the driver is a relatively heavy bank of batteries. Above the driver's navel there is mostly air and plastic. I think this thing will corner just fine. Also, it seems like a near clone of this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VLiYzSOMFgE
        vripper
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ducman69
        Yes, you are the only genius on this planet. I'm sure they didn't think of that.
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      God this thing is ugly and nobody in their right mind would be caught dead buying this death trap .
      Jonathan Ippolito
      • 2 Years Ago
      God this thing is ugly and nobody in their right mind would be caught dead buying this death trap .
      idont
      • 2 Years Ago
      I do not understand this "car". It offers nothing of what a car should, why not just use public transit?
      jebibudala
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have a mobility scooter that fits into this category.
      Space
      • 2 Years Ago
      i love it. Mostly for the technology and ideas that are in it. That's the kind of things i've been looking for.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      fivespeeed
      • 2 Years Ago
      It's basically taking cues from the world of motorcycles, if you think about it. It's like an enclosed Spyder or MP3 scooter. There should be more crossover between cars and motorcycles. Many bikes don't have radiators, much less direct injection, and most cars don't have the revs or excitement of a bike.