On a friendlier note, the system is also a fragrance dispenser.
Personalization is quickly becoming something automakers want to incorporate into future models. Take the Kia Soul and its mood interior lighting system, for example. And now, via CNET, we have learned that Toyota has patented something interesting that could make production one day. Described as a "vehicle fragrance dispenser system" in the patent application, this system can dispense multiple fragrances in order to accommodate the nasal preferences of all occupants.
Obviously having an auto fragrance system is not new, but Toyota's allows for multiple fragrances. It can also use mobile devices, specifically smartphones, to determine if a specific person is entering the vehicle and it'll have their preferred scent ready to go. Your personal data will also include a scent preference.
Of course, not all passengers will like the other fragrances chosen by others, so Toyota came up with a rather simple solution: a deodorizer. Seriously. It can deploy the deodorizer once someone exits the vehicle and then revert back to the original scent. Interesting. By now you're wondering about the tear gas part. Because the system is designed to detect occupants, it can also detect occupants who shouldn't be there. You know, like thieves.
Once the system detects an "illegitimate engine start," according to the application, it will dispense tear gas instead of a pleasant fragrance. What wasn't mentioned in the application is whether the deodorizer can remove the tear gas.
There's currently no way of knowing whether Toyota will put this system into production or not, but it's still nice knowing it's there. While some certainly won't care about multiple fragrance options, the anti-theft tear gas is downright clever. It's also probably cheaper than a typical anti-theft system. It's also a lot quieter. And the thief's eyes will be red and burn for hours making it hard for a quick getaway.