Toyota has reportedly obtained a patent for a dispenser system that sprays a preferred fragrance into a car, but also tear gas for would-be thieves.
According to Carscoops.com, a patent from the Japanese automakers has surfaced online, detailing plans for a system that detects users and sprays their favorite scent through the cabin. The feature would function by detecting the driver or passenger's phone and spraying the scent before they even get inside. The car would also be deodorized once they've gone out.
This is all very fragrant news but the most intriguing aspect is the patent's claim regarding tear gas, which will be sprayed into the vehicle if it detects an illegitimate start. This means that thieves would be stopped from making away with a vehicle unless they're wearing gas masks.
Toyota is hardly the first manufacturer to offer a selection of scents from a system but they are probably the first to officially consider weaponizing it.
It would be great to own a car that would begin building up a sweet aroma while you approach. But one that can also dispense tear gas seems a little scary.
The idea sounds like one that could backfire quite epically and Murphy's Law would likely apply at every turn.
There are ways this could mistakenly harm a legitimate owner. What if the system simply believes you to be a thief or you forget your phone? What if the tear gas dispenser is activated or breaks open during a crash?
We don't imagine anyone having peace of mind knowing that they're sitting inside a vehicle carrying such a noxious substance. But we can appreciate that there are some people who wouldn't mind a tear gas reminder if they happen to forget their phones at home.
In any case, though, the filing of a patent does not mean that this will ever come to life. But that it has been secured already makes it more possible than not.