back to article Toyota catches up to William Gibson with LED hood

In William Gibson's 1994 novel Virtual Light, one of the characters' cars features “an animated hologram of a waterfall on the hood.” Fast forward 20 years and Toyota might just be about to deliver: at the 2014 Tokyo Toy Show the company showed off a vehicle with a hood covered in LEDs. The hood was hooked up to cameras, beneath …

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Attention getter

"Hey officer, I have a huge flashing glowing bonnet distracting everyone on the road! Please pull me over!"

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Re: Attention getter

And yet, if it were showing advertisements it'd be legal.

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Re: Attention getter

Depends on the jurisdiction. Some won't allow ANY animated or active-display advertisement on a moving vehicle (some won't allow them, period). I also noted its potential for ads, though I suspect the tech would be better suited for commercial vehicles like vans.

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Re: Attention getter

Ambulance... In reversed type "Get out the way you f'ing idiot!"

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Re: Attention getter

Looks like something out of the Disneyworld electric parade...

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Re: Attention getter

To reduce attention, have the bonnet playing a video stream of the image from a camera on the rear of the car.

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Re: Attention getter

First step towards a cloaked car?

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I seem to remember

Audi experimenting with AMOLED displays for the tail lights a while back......looked way better than this.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSYpQu2IQfI&feature=kp

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FAIL

Re: I seem to remember

@Raphael

Jesus! Just what the world needs. More things to distract idiot drivers!

And yes, it looks cool, but really, just no.

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A question and a comment.

How much does it add to the weight that high over the front wheels?

Anything flashing red or blue on the front of civilian vehicles is illegal in the US.

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Re: A question and a comment.

In the UK, thou shalt not show blue lights at all unless thou art an emergency service vehicle, and thou shalt not show anything other than white or amber visible from the front (there may still be an exception for green lights for non-emergency doctors).

It's going to restrict the scope for images.

On the other hand, focussed bulk LEDs look an interesting technique for automating dipped lights; you could probably arrange things so you *can't* send light in the direction of oncoming lights. (Though if two similarly equipped cars approach, they may *both* make themselves invisible to each other... further thought required!)

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People will buy it regardless

I'm sure there would be plenty of people wanting this even if it all it did was black and white static images ala e-ink. They could change the images every time they start their car, or maybe even at stoplights (if the law against moving images is only for moving vehicles)

After all, who would have thought there would be a market for purplish lights underneath a car, but that was a fad for a short time, like car bras were before and spinner rims since. Some people like their car to make a statement, even if that statement says "I'm a braindead trend follower" to some of us!

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Vic
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Re: A question and a comment.

In the UK, thou shalt not show blue lights at all unless thou art an emergency service vehicle

That's not enforced, though. I regularly see Chavmobiles with blue sidelights, blue lights on the washer jets, etc.

Vic.

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@Vic - Re: A question and a comment.

I've heard it said that, allegedly, the Police turn a blind eye to the chav's lighting schemes most of the time because it gives them an excuse to pull them when they *really* want to :-)

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Devil

Re: A question and a comment.

Neil Barnes, amber and white is fine, that should do for some pr0n.

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Re: A question and a comment.

Blue lights are actually fine and legal in the UK (hence why the chav are left alone with their blue washer jets). But apparently it is illegal to display a red light to the front of the car (sensibly enough). This info is about 10 years out of date though...

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@Ashely Ward - Re: A question and a comment.

> Blue lights are actually fine and legal in the UK

From the MOT Tester's Manual

"Two front position lamps must be fitted, one on each side and show a steady white light to the front (or yellow if incorporated in a yellow headlamp)"

They must "show light of the correct colour. Note: Some front position lamps have a blue tinge to the light. This is acceptable provided the light is predominantly white."

A reason for rejection is if the light "shows a light other than red to the rear and white to the front".

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Vic
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Re: @Ashely Ward - A question and a comment.

A reason for rejection is if the light "shows a light other than red to the rear and white to the front".

That was always my belief - but I'm not sure it's accurate.

The Road Behicles Lighting Regulations 1989 Section 11(1) is concerned only with lamps capable of showing red to the front; it is the colour to the read (defined in Section 11(2)) that is more prescriptive.

There are other sections about blue warning lamps - but these are specifically defined in Section 3 as being "A lamp, fitted to the front or rear of a vehicle, capable of emitting a blue flashing light and not any other kind of light".

Vic.

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That'll be not so cheap to fix when you're in a fender-bender.

I don't want stuff flashing or glowing in front of me when I'm trying to see the road, especially at night.

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Re trying to see the road

You're one of the old school, aren't you, Gene Cash? Nowadays drivers' eyes are either on the satnav or the mobile. Unless it's the mother who attends to the toddler on the back seat.

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Devil

Knight Rider

Bring back KITT. Serveral red LED's on the front and a nice compact super computer inside.

So much simpler than this graphical crap.

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Re: Knight Rider

Hmm, set-up a Philips TV for eldest daughter yesterday and while it was scanning the satellite for FTA channels, it had a Knight Rider like swishing status bar at the bottom of the screen, but in blue. Very distracting and oddly hypnotic.

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Childcatcher

Re: Knight Rider

Perhaps it was actually a Cylon.

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Re: Knight Rider

By your command...

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They are missing a stroke. All they need is number plates that change to foreign/diplomatic/Chris Huhne’s automatically when exceeding the local speed limit.

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I think I'd be more impressed if this was e-ink - now that would not be distracting, not against most countries laws and would be much cheaper to run.

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>I think I'd be more impressed if this was e-ink

150MPH and the full text of Pride and Prejudice on the bonnet.

That'll put the boy racers in their place.

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Is this the sort of tech that could make a car appear invisible (displaying what is seen on the other side of the car) if fitted on the doors rather than the bonnet (hood)?

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No because you would have to recreate the whole 3-D field of light around the car that would be there if the car WASN'T there, so that it looks invisible from any vantage point, not only from a single position.

No Ghost in the Shell Optocam ... sorry!

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Don't mix your Ghost in the Shell with your Metal Gear. In Ghost in the Shell it's known as thermoptic camouflage because it also conceals heat. Octocam IIRC is the Metal Gear counterpart.

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Happy

What's a hood?

Looks like the bonnet is covered in LEDs to me.

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Re: What's a hood?

a 'Hood' is the bloke who flogged you one of those cars by saying it was the latest thing and everyone wants one.

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MJI
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Re: What's a hood?

Kyrano's evil brother

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Re: What's a hood?

Elmer Phud, I thought that bloke's a 'hoot'?

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Re: What's a hood?

@MJI - be careful, you'll get strung-up for letting out secrets like that ;-)

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TRT
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Anything like...

the stealth van Top Gear made?

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Paris Hilton

Maybe more like Neal Stephenson?

In Snow Crash The "Pizza Deliverator" for Uncle Enzo's "CosaNostra Pizza Delivery" outfit had a car which projected boiling flames to scare the eejits off the street:

The Deliverator is a Type A driver with rabies. He is zeroing in on his home base, CosaNostra Pizza #3569, cranking up the left lane of CSV-5 at a hundred and twenty kilometers. His car is an invisible black lozenge, just a dark place that reflects the tunnel of franchise signs - the loglo. A row of orange lights burbles and churns across the front, where the grille would be if this were an air-breathing car. The orange light looks like a gasoline fire. It comes in through people's rear windows, bounces off their rearview mirrors, projects a fiery mask across their eyes, reaches into their subconscious, and unearths terrible fears of being pinned, fully conscious, under a detonating gas tank, makes them want to pull over and let the Deliverator overtake them in his black chariot of pepperoni fire.

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As seen last year in London

I saw a Mini with LED screens all over it in London last year. Here it is:

"http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/projection-mapping/mini-launches-worlds-first-hi-res-interactive-led-car-miniartbeat/"

Rather like the recent "Peak Beard" article, these cars are eyecatching when unique but when every chump in a traffic jam is lit up like a council house at Christmas the car that stands out will be the the one that isn't trying to stand out.

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Re: As seen last year in London

I saw a very eye catching black car the other day. It was not shiny black, it was black black. It was so black that it looked as though Disaster Area might launch it into the sun at any moment. When everyone has fairy lights all over their cars, that look will be even more distinctive.

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Re: As seen last year in London

"http://www.creativeguerrillamarketing.com/projection-mapping/mini-launches-worlds-first-hi-res-interactive-led-car-miniartbeat/"

"This video is private"

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and the default password is?

I predict a high demand for services that will put your chosen image on someone-else's car. Especially if it changes back when the ignition is off or a door is open, so the driver never realises.

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Joke

I'm just going to wait for my automorphing vehicle

so that i can simply tell it what i want it to look like, color, description, and etcetera, and it does it. then the plate changes to some local politician so i can speed. Did I say that?

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Devil

if something like this becomes a standard on cars (I doubt it)

How long before the car manufacturers decide it should display advertising if your car is stationary with the engine running? Or if it detects a car is following behind you etc.

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Camouflage?

Or perhaps just change the colour of the getaway ca to confuse the witnesses?

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E 2

How about if it used high power LEDs in the 10 watt range. It could blind other motorists, not just distract them.

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