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How the Toyota PM Works

        Auto | Concept Cars

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At rest, the cabin is upright and its length is minimized.
At rest, the cabin is upright and its length is minimized.
Photo courtesy Toyota

The PM is more than just a mode of transportation; it's also a communications device. It melds the functionality of transport and wireless communication into one machine. Using a yet-to-be-named wireless technology, PMs are able to locate other nearby PMs. Multiple PMs can then communicate with each other. Additionally, PM drivers can surrender control of their vehicle to another PM driver.

The instrumentation panel displays vehicle data, location, and position based on information, attributes, and the paths of nearby PMs, and even entertainment guidance. On most vehicles, knobs or push buttons are used to input preferences. The PM uses a virtual interface that appears to float in midair and uses infrared sensors to detect fingertip position.

In stop-and-go travel, the PM's cabin tilts back - allowing it to maneuver through the tight corners of an urban environment. T
In stop-and-go travel, the PM's cabin tilts back - allowing it to maneuver through the tight corners of an urban environment. T
Photo courtesy Toyota Photo courtesy Toyota
In stop-and-go travel, the PM's cabin tilts back - allowing it to maneuver through the tight corners of an urban environment. T
In stop-and-go travel, the PM's cabin tilts back - allowing it to maneuver through the tight corners of an urban environment. T
Photo courtesy Toyota Photo courtesy Toyota

When PMs are communicating with other PMs, LED technology is employed to change the color of the vehicle to indicate "emotions" and situations. Different colors display on the door tips, antennas, headlamps, side and rear panels, and rear wheels to indicate what activities are taking place in the PM.

To share the burden of driving, multiple PMs can team up in a lead-follow arrangement. One PM can become the lead vehicle, while others follow on autopilot. The following-position vehicle's on-board computer controls handling, throttle and braking, and maintains a safe distance from other PMs in front or behind. However, the following-position PM surrenders direction and steering to the lead PM. The lead PM driver is in charge of direction and speed. This autopilot feature is convenient for guiding a group of PMs (e.g., car pooling), or if someone is more familiar with a particular area and might know a shortcut.

The PM is just one of several concept cars that Toyota has unveiled over the years. Among each new pack of concept vehicles, some make it to the production line, while others inspire enhancements for new or existing models. Let's take a quick peek at some of the other future-minded vehicles that Toyota has created.


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