Toyota has patented two concepts for its electric and driverless cars: mini wind turbines for extra power and performance, and a camera system to replace side mirrors.
Twenty years after the launch of the iconic Prius as the world’s first hybrid car, Toyota now has no less than 33 models of hybrid vehicles. Cumulative sales of Toyota hybrids surpassed the 10 million mark as of last January–sparing the world 77 million tons of CO2–and the company aims to sell 15 million hybrids by 2020.Toyota hybrid vehicles have spared the atmosphere 77 million tons of CO2.Click To Tweet
Launching a new EV division and severing the links with Tesla (selling the remaining of its entire stake in Tesla) Toyota seems to be shifting gears to focus on PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles). At this point, in 2017, the company has filed two patents indicate the direction of future Toyota designs.
Future Toyota Designs: Camera System to Enhance Side Visibility and the Vehicle’s Aerodynamics
The first patent filed by Toyota, Heads Up Display For Side Mirror Display, deals with camera-based side viewing system for vehicles instead of the traditional side mirror.
The system includes two side view cameras, one on the driver’s side (DSV), and the other on the passenger’s side (PSV). Inside the vehicle, there’s also two heads up display (HUD) on both sides. The driver’s HUD displays the constant feed of the DSV camera (Driver Side View), and the passenger’s HUD displays the view from the PSV camera.
Eliminating side mirrors, the side view system would enhance the vehicle’s aerodynamics and significantly improve side view even under unfavorable weather conditions (rain). These cameras also are less sensitive to dirt buildup.
Future Toyota Designs: Wind Turbine Systems for Electric Vehicles
The second patent application of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America, Inc., describes mini wind turbines that would outfit the company’s electric vehicles.
The system comprises wind turbine, an air inlet, air channels, an air outlet, and a generator that converts air’s kinetic energy to electric power to be stored in the battery.
These mini wind turbines would generate clean energy to power the vehicle’s integral and auxiliary systems, such as ventilating, heating and air conditioning.