Next week marks the annual Meeting of the Minds summit, an event first co-founded in 2007 by Toyota. This year, the summit will take place in Detroit, Michigan, a city that Toyota describes as redefining itself for the future, from September 30 to October 2.
“Like many cities who saw their own stars shine with the rise of the Industrial Age, Detroit is now at a tipping point and it offers the perfect platform for the discussion of alternative urban futures,” says Jessie Feller, executive director of Meeting of the Minds. “Toyota has been our partner for this annual event, and their thought leadership will contribute greatly to the robust discussions planned over the three days.”
The event will be far reaching in scope, aiming to envision the smart cities enabled by the increasingly connected network of machines we call the Internet of Things. Toyota believes that the next big deal for the automobile will be the connected car, and as such its Driver Awareness Research Vehicle – the DARV 1.5 – will be showcased at Meeting of the Minds.
Using advanced technology including the Microsoft Kinect and custom biometric software from Infosys, the DARV 1.5 offers examples of new ways for drivers to interface with and feel safe in their cars.
The Microsoft Kinect – best known as the full-body motion control for the Xbox One videogame console – can be used to track user profiles while playing videogames and making digital purchases. It also features speech recognition controls. In terms of merging the Kinect with the next generation driving experience, the DARV 1.5 has a “driver lock-in” function that limits access to the car’s features based on the body frame of the driver. Essentially, it’s full body biometrics for vehicular access control.
Next generation driving experience isn’t limited to Toyota’s research vehicle, the connected car is coming, and it’s an idea we should all be getting familiar with. ABI Research has identified the connected car as a driver in wearable tech adoption. According to the firm, wearables are going to allow for driver-car interfacing on a large scale over the next five years.
This car connectivity overlaps with biometric innovations. For example: the Nymi wristband from Bionym, which offers persistent proximity based multifactor authentication, is expected to allow users to interact with their cars in new, exciting, secure and convenient ways.