Cars are not usually thought of as living things, except in the movie Christine (and also the movie Cars). Still, it's hard not to see something a little anthropomorphic about them. Now Lexus has made automotive sentience even easier to imagine, by equipping a custom RC-F coupe with a human heartbeat.
A car with a heart
The car is a new conceptual project by Lexus Australia and M&C Saatchi Australia's creative tech division that aims to more deeply connect the car to its driver. The coupe is covered in electroluminescent paint that glows when hit with an electric charge. Its body panels are wired to a circuit board that collects data from sensors attached to the driver's body. As the driver's pulse races and slows, the car lights up and fades in the same pattern.
It's like an extension of wearable tech, except the tech is almost wearing you. Lexus envisions the project as a step toward creating cars capable of recognizing the emotions of drivers. If a driver is experiencing road rage or extreme sleepiness, the car may be able to react accordingly, preventing accidents or reckless driving.
"Mapping man with machine provides an interesting investigation of control," Ben Cooper, group innovation director of M&C Saatchi Australia, told Wired. "We think the data might show a different view of who's really driving."
For now, this is just a one-off concept, and Lexus currently has no plans to add this feature to any more of its cars. That's probably a good thing, because it seems like this would be an incredible distraction if it were to actually hit the streets.