Car Tech Video
Toyota NS4 Concept is paving the way to the futureAt the 2012 Detroit auto show, CNET's Wayne Cunningham takes a look how Toyota is incorporating plug-in technology into future cars.
Toyota insists this NS4 concept is not a featured Prius and it's not even related to the Prius family. But look at it, the shape is like a more aerodynamic version of the current Prius and it even has a hatchback. The NS4 concept shows what Toyota thinks a plug-in hybrid car might look like in 5 years. Toyota hasn't given specifics about the hybrid power (trade?) in this card. They just say it's simpler and more refined than the current system they use. And if this is a plug-in hybrid, it will probably use the lithium-ion battery pack. The NS4's (cabin tech?) interface is based on a multi-touch smartphone's screen. Not only controls the stereo and navigation system, wants the driver to see the battery charge level. Radar and cameras bounded around the car form the basis of it's safely and driver's assistance features. The NS4 recognize pedestrians and other vehicles, then initiate braking and avoid a collision. None of these are really breakthrough technologies, but the NS4 does show the direction that Toyota is going in the future hybrid and maybe a Prius. I'm Wayne Cunningham reporting from Detroit.