Toyota is traditionally a conservative company when it comes to adopting new car technology, which makes this recent patent it filed all the more hilarious. Just like the headline says, the patent includes a system that will release tear gas into the car. The noxious gas is piped in when the vehicle detects an illegitimate engine start. Now if that's not the most metal thing you've seen out of Toyota in a long time (forever?) we're not sure what is.
This section of the patent is part of a larger scheme of patenting a fragrance system similar to Mercedes' where you can choose the scent you want pumped out of the air vents. It's a novel feature that can help cleanse the cabin of any unpleasant odors, but can get annoying with strong and prolonged use. Toyota's system would theoretically be more seamless and personable than anything currently on the market, because it's designed to automatically detect who is getting into the vehicle via their mobile device. It will then dispense that driver's preferred fragrance.
In this patent, when you leave your Toyota, a deodorizer turns on, making sure the scent is neutral for whoever may climb aboard the vehicle next. This ensures nobody will be walking into a car with a fragrance they may find repulsive or unattractive. How nice of Toyota, right? Hopefully the deodorizer is strong enough to neutralize the tear gas if it ever comes to that. Of course, you'll theoretically be wanting the tear gas to continue preventing the would-be thief for however long is necessary.
It truly is a new way of thinking in the fight against carjackers. Smoking them out with blinding tear gas would likely keep anybody from being able to drive your car away. However, an automatic park lockout seems like the next logical step to make sure a more perseverant thief doesn't try to drive away completely blinded in your Toyota anyway. But why should we be thinking logically when it comes to James Bond-like car features to begin with? Patents with outlandish ideas like this one rarely get implemented, so don't count on this ever actually happening.
Still, we're all for great new ways to prevent car theft, but here's another tried-and-true method, Toyota: manual transmissions.