Toyoda Gosei Flesby II Concept Car
The car we are going to have a look at today comes from a company called TOYODA Gosei. Toyoda (not to be confused with TOYOTA) is a maker of rubber, plastic, and urethane products for the transportation industry. The company wanted to do something to solve a serious problem in Japan. The Toyoda Gosei Flesby II Concept Car is the result. I don’t know how they will ever get past the obvious name conflict with TOYOTA, however I will leave that to Japanese lawyers to figure out.
Believe it or not, this unique idea comes out of Japan. Ok, so maybe that doesn’t seem too difficult to believe. The Japanese have a rich history of innovation, and are known for taking things to the extreme. The densely populated yet tiny island encounters many challenges we simply don’t experience in the USA. One of these problems is the fact that the streets are so overcrowded. This overcrowding leads to a lot of pedestrian accidents. Pedestrian-vehicle accidents are a serious and exceedingly common problem in Japan.
Common Problem, Uncommon Solution
The solution to this problem, as is often the case in Japan, is to apply engineering innovation to the problem. The hope was to change the way we perceive cars, and specifically how we perceive the car body. This brings us to the Toyoda Gosei Flesby II Concept Car. shown here today. The Japanese realized that even if we manage to automate some cars at some point, there will still be a problem. Cars are heavy metal objects being hurled down the street at high speeds. Pedestrians are soft, and do not do enjoy being struck by heavy metal moving objects.
The solution to the problem of cars hitting and injuring people was simple. If we can’t lower the number of cars, or eliminate the human driver, make the car less dangerous. Enter the Toyoda Gosei Flesby II Concept Car. This wild, wacky new idea in concept cars does not focus on the engine or the power source. It doesn’t focus on some whiz-bang comfort features, or high tech interior. The body itself IS the innovation that solves the problem.
The body of the Toyoda Gosei Flesby II Concept Car is made from a revolutionary new material called e-rubber, which has been in development since 2007. The e-rubber “globes” that make up the body panels can change shape by applying a bit of electricity. This innovation makes the soft, rubbery body a lot less dangerous to pedestrians in the event of a collision. These “globes” are also translucent, and have integrated LEDs which create an electronic ‘billboard’ to display messages.
How Does That Help?
The e-rubber can flex enough to absorb substantial impact on colllision. Instead of finding yourself face down on a hot metal hood after a pedestrian accident, a victim might feel more like they were hit by a large, rolling marshmallow. Depending on speed of impact, it is possible that someone could be involved in a pedestrian accident with this car and not even be injured. That reduction of injury is an innovation with a cause, and their hearts are certainly in the right place. If this unique looking car can prevent serious injury, it has already made the World a better place.
The car may not look or perform like the concept muscle cars I have covered in the past, but it provides a useful innovation to solve a real problem. I have seen and written about some innovative concept cars before, however this one is definitely among the most unique I have seen in a long time!
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