Toyota develops fragrance system that can dispense tear gas

Toyota wants to tear gas its vehicle occupants. Well, sort of.

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Toyota has developed a fragrance system for its vehicles that, instead of providing a pleasant smelling ambience for occupants, can do the complete opposite.

While conventional in-car fragrance systems have been around for some time, a car manufacturer has never thought to use the system in such a sinister way. That is, until Toyota filed a patent that can determine “illegitimate engine starts”, like those when a car is stolen, and subsequently release a tear gas component inside the vehicle to fend off would-be car thieves.

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Toyota describes the patent itself rather innocently: “a vehicle fragrance dispenser that may identify an occupant and releasing a fragrance associated with the occupant.”

Cool car things we want

As you can see in the patent diagram, it includes an immobiliser, transceiver device, fragrance controller and fragrance generator.  A little more high tech than the traditional tree-shaped, pine-smelling rear-view mirror hanger, then.  

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The patent also includes claims that the fragrance dispenser can also distribute a number of other different perfumes, dependent on pre-selected vehicle occupant preferences. The system does this by communicating with your phone’s mobile signals and recognising a specific smell paired to that phone and then dispensing it throughout the vehicle. This can be done in advance of a driver jumping into the car too, so you’ve got a nice smell to greet you.

The fragrance generator also includes a deodoriser which can rid the car of certain smells, or to deactivate the last fragrance remaining in the car. Could be particularly handy for that post-beach “wet dog” smell too.

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There’s no word as yet whether Toyota will actually include this fragrance system in its cars, but at least they’re thinking of innovative ways to combat car thieves.


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