Sam Philip25 October 2013

Meet the Lexus that paints its driver

Toyota’s posh division develops IS300h with Edvard Munch-style skillz. Surely this is a joke?

We can only assume April Fool's Day falls in late October in Japan. News reaches us of a spangly new technology fitted to the Lexus IS300h: an on-board system that "paints" a digital picture of its driver in real time based on his or her driving style.

Deep breath.

Here's how it works. You upload a photo of yourself to the on-board computer, which collects data on how hard you rev the engine, how fast you drive and whether you're the sort of fussbudget who makes sure all the air-con vents are pointing in the same direction. Yes, we made the last one up.

Then, though some very clever software developed by ‘generative artist' Sergio Albiac (no idea what a generative artist is, but we presume it's better than a degenerative artist), this data is magically converted into paint brush strokes. This may make slightly more sense what you watch the video. It may not.

Sadly this is a one-off project, with no mention of plans to roll out the software across the IS range.

Two important questions. One, how would your driving style portrait work? TopGear's, we suspect, would be something like this. Two, surely this is a massive joke, isn't it?

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