Over the summer, Toyota filed a patent for a personalized fragrance dispenser system. Published online last week, the patent is fairly straightforward: when the car recognizes someone as an authorized user, it can spray their favorite scent.
But what happens if the car doesn’t recognize someone as an unauthorized user?
Lets say the car is hijacked or stolen it can give the driver a spritz of tear gas.
Some cars already have fragrance dispensers, but Toyota’s patent describes the first attempt to personalize and weaponize them, according to CNET.
But wait, there's more. Because some people might have problems with specific fragrances, the system also includes a deodorizer. It can deploy as soon as the occupant leaves the vehicle, returning the car's scent to neutral as it awaits the next occupant, who might not like the last guy's preference for fresh pine or whatever. The system can also dispense fragrances ahead of a person entering the car, filling the car with scent instead of forcing the occupant to wait for the HVAC system to do its thing, like current applications.
So what about the tear gas? Here's where it gets clever. Since the system is built to detect the occupants, if it detects an "illegitimate engine start," as the application says, it can dispense tear gas instead of perfume, likely sending the scofflaw running. Hopefully that deodorizer is capable of removing tear gas from the car, otherwise the actual owner will be in for an eye-opening (and eye-watering) experience later on. Hopefully the trunk has an eye-rinse station.
But Toyota will implement this upgraded fragrance system without tear gas first.
Toyota’s new patent system claims to spray users their favorite scent in advance!
The car detects someone is walking up to them and, deodorizing the car after they leave. The detection relies on signals sent from a paired smartphone for now!