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Toyota Fun-Vii concept is a configurable, connected car

What if changing the color or graphic treatment of your car was as simple as tapping an app?


What if changing the color of your car was as simple as tapping an app? Toyota's Fun-Vii concept promises exactly that and more.

Toyota Fun-Vii concept
The Fun-Vii's exterior surface is actually a user configurable display. Toyota Motor Co.

The Fun-Vii's skin is actually a massive display that can change its color at will, and display graphics, images, and custom messages for other drivers or bystanders. Toyota gives the visual example of a business using the Fun-Vii to display advertisement livery, but I'd love to be able to quickly throw up a "Back off, chump!" to a tailgater.

The custom graphics aren't limited to the exterior. Toyota also envisions that large interior display surfaces can add augmented reality functionality to the driving experience while allowing the vehicle's interior to be "freely adjustable to match the mood of the moment."

Eye-catching graphics aside, the most interesting bit about the Fun-Vii (Vehicle, Interactive, Internet) concept is that Toyota envisions it would be fully connected to the Internet and to a mobile network of other vehicles. Internet connectivity has the obvious advantages of bringing relevant information to the driver and delivering entertainment content to all of the three-seater's passengers.

Meanwhile, intervehicle connectivity helps the Fun-Vii to be aware of, for example, a vehicle in its blind spot, the car ahead is making an emergency stop, or other potential road hazard. I'd like to see the day when vehicles could automatically exchange insurance and registration information in the event of a minor fender bender.

Toyota Fun-Vii concept interior
The interior display offers an augmented reality view of the road ahead. Toyota Motor Co.
Toyota Fun-Vii interior
The entire interior can be customized to match the driver's and passengers' moods. Toyota Motor Co.

Of course, most (if not all) of this hypothetical concept car magic will be controllable from outside of the car via smartphone or tablet apps. We'll have more details as they emerge when the Fun-Vii is unveiled at the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show.