Four inventors working for Toyota in Japan have won a patent for a car that they say can help drivers communicate better by glaring angrily at another car cutting through traffic as well as appear to cry, laugh, wink, or just look around.

The inventors explain in the patent that they want drivers to have more than a one-note horn and on-off headlights to signal other drivers. The horn sounds the same, they write, whether a driver is “asking for permission to cut in front and in showing gratitude for having been allowed to cut in front,” so other people often do not know what the honking is about.



That was not good enough for the inventors – Kenji Mori, Naoto Kitagawa, Akihiro Inukai and Simon Humprhies – who work for Toyota Jidosha Kabushiki Kaisha of Japan, which owns the United States patent issued last month. In it they describe a car with an antenna that wags, an adjustable body height, headlights that vary in intensity, and hood slits and ornamentation designed to look like eyebrows, eyelids and tears, all of which could glow with colored lights to create moods and physical features.



The inventors believe these features on cars will make driving more entertaining. In the patent they write that “as traffic grows heavier and vehicle use increases, vehicles having expression functions, such as crying and laughing, like people and other animals do, could create a joyful, organic atmosphere rather than the simple comings and goings of inorganic vehicles.”



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