At the 2007 Tokyo auto show, we found many concept cars that could be put into production today. These cars wouldn't look out of place on the road or in a mall parking lot. We've got photos of these ready for the road concepts, from the Volkswagen Space Up to the Toyota iQ.
Good news for people prone to losing their car keys. Someday soon, all you'll need to start the engine will be the veins in your finger.
Japanese electronics giant Hitachi is bringing its finger vein authentication technology to steering wheels, fitting them with a biometric reader that only starts the engine for drivers with recognizable vein patterns.
Veins can also be used as switches for the car stereo and navigation system, reports Pink Tentacle, as well as to identify driver preferences, such as seat and mirror position or air conditioner setting.
Hitachi's system--already used in ATMs, computers and cardless payment systems… Read more
The Tokyo Motor Show 2007, the biggest car expo in Asia, doesn't kick off until Saturday. But two CNET News.com galleries offer sneak peeks at what will be showcased, based on press previews this week.
With exception of a few hot sports cars, most of the debuts are quirky environmental options and high-tech concepts, ranging from mini-minivans to personal transporters. Click here for related gallery.
The more basic four- and two-wheel concept cars are featured here.
While car companies want to show off their environmental credentials, they also realize that performance never goes out of style. We spent quite a bit of time going over these sporty concept cars at the 2007 Tokyo auto show. They range from small, fun performance cars from the likes of Honda and Peugeot, to big sport luxury concepts from Nissan and Suzuki, and all the way up to pure design plays like the Mazda Taiki.
Toyota's 1/X concept, shown at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, uses a body design that closely resembles that of the current Prius. But the 1/X has a lot of tricks up its sleeve that could give it double the already frugal Prius' mileage. First off, the 1/X's body is made of the same carbon fiber materials Toyota developed for its racing cars. This type of body makes the 1/X a third lighter than the Prius. As a flexible fuel vehicle, the 1/X's plug-in hybrid power train can burn gas and ethanol. With … Read more
At the 2007 Tokyo auto show, automotive equipment maker Denso demonstrated technology for cars that monitors a driver's gaze. The system uses a camera to scan the driver's face and will continuously monitor where the driver is looking. The technology also employs cameras to monitor the car's surroundings, and will alert the driver to anything significant he or she might have missed. For example, if you are looking off to the right, and a kid runs into the street from the left, the car can alert you, or even hit the brakes. Denso's technology can also … Read more
Among the concept cars on display at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, a substantial number run off of electricity. Some, such as the Suzuki Pixy and the Nissan Pivo2, are a little outlandish. But many represent very serious efforts on the part of automakers to develop a successful and practical zero-emission vehicle. Both the Mitsubishi i MiEV Sport and the Subaru G4e look like they are ready for the road.
At the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, Suzuki showed off the Kizashi concept, and, frankly, we weren't too thrilled. We weren't sure why Suzuki was building something that looked like a Dodge Magnum. But at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, Suzuki revealed the Kizashi 2, indicating that it's serious about building bigger cars. Suzuki has had success building smaller cars and SUVs, but now it wants to stretch its proverbial wings, competing in new segments. The Kizashi concepts show Suzuki's direction in this area--big, gaudy, and brawny wagons.
After examining the Kizashi 2, we give in. Suzuki … Read more
With a lot of sleek Yamaha concepts on display at the 2007 Tokyo auto show, Bobby stood out for its awkward look. This electric scooter is designed for commuters. It's not much smaller when folded up, but Yamaha points out that it can be more easily stowed in the trunk of a car or kept on a balcony. OK, we'll buy that. Bobby incorporates an RFID reader, so you can use a cell phone equipped with a Sony FeliCa chip as a key. The future is sounding weirder and weirder.
One of the pleasures of the Tokyo auto show is seeing technologies from automotive equipment makers that haven't made it into any current models. This is the stuff that might appear on cars of the future. We saw numerous displays from different companies about how different colored LEDs can be used for exterior and signal lighting on a car. One equipment maker, Koito, had an interesting concept with an LED string framing the headlight housing. The LEDs in this string could flash yellow, working as a turn indicator, or they could turn blue and stay on for night driving. … Read more