Toyota Pod

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Toyota Pod on display in Tokyo

The Toyota Pod was a concept car created by the Japanese automobile marque Toyota in collaboration with Sony. The Pod was first shown at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show. The Pod was unique as it was designed with artificial intelligence systems built in to make the car appear more personal.

The Pod was much like a living being due to the AI programmed into it. The featured a screen inside with Sony-created software running on it, capable of creating shopping lists and running music and radio. The car could also judge the attitude and mood of the driver based on their reactions and how they are driving, and could offer advice on how to improve their current mood. The seats inside are like stools which could freely spin and rotate. On the exterior, the Pod could express its own feelings with coloured LEDs - red for anger, yellow for happy, blue for sad - and an antenna that wags, much like a dog's tail. The Pod was designed as a "car of the future" and hence was never put into production.

The Pod was featured in the game Gran Turismo Concept and had an exclusive race to itself. A new track - using segments from the Clubman Stage Route 5 course - was created which involved 6 Pods driving through the pitlane backwards before stopping in a special area for several seconds before being allowed to resume racing.