Toyota Filed a Patent for a Tear Gas Dispenser to Stop Car Thieves

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There are all sorts of interesting patents out there for things that may or may not ever make it to market. It’s all a matter of making sure the technology a company invents isn’t stolen by the other guys before they have a chance to bring it to market, just in case. The latest patent filing that sits firmly in the “Really, is that even legal?” section of the file cabinet is from Toyota. It’s for an in-car fragrance dispenser that also dispels tear gas to stop thieves.

Your first thought might be to look at the calendar and check the date. Nope. It’s the middle of March not April Fool’s Day. This is a real patent for a real product. It includes flowcharts and diagrams and very official-looking documentation for a thing that Toyota might actual build. Here’s how this wonder of theft-deterrence works.

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Most of the time it functions as a typical in-car fragrance dispenser. It will offer a variety of pleasant scents that will fill your car with something better than the smell of stale fast food wrappers that currently perfume the air. So far, so good.

The system is smart enough to even know who likes what perfume so it could automatically make the car smell like flowers for those who like to imagine they’re driving through a meadow or perhaps the beach for those dreaming of summer getaways. It’s quite a nifty idea.

Now, that smart part is where it goes south for the bad guys. If it doesn’t identify you as someone who should have access to the car and you attempt to start the engine, then it won’t make it smell welcoming. Instead, you get tear gas.

In a fourth aspect of the present disclosure, in the above aspects, the fragrance generation section may be configured to release a tear gas component inside the vehicle; and the controller may control the fragrance generation section to release the tear gas component inside the vehicle in a case in which an illegitimate engine start has been detected by an immobilizer of the vehicle.
The vehicle fragrance dispenser of the fourth aspect may prevent theft of a vehicle by releasing a tear gas component inside the vehicle when there is an illegitimate engine start attempt in the vehicle.

Yeah, that’s right. You think you can just drive off all willy-nilly in some other guys Camry? Think again.

The whole idea of a car that can douses thieves with tear gas is fantastic if a bit frightening. I mean, if that system malfunctions, you could have a very bad day. On the plus side, we’d like to see more options for teaching thieves a lesson.

Looking for a new or used car? Check out BestRide’s listings search here.

If they can build a tear-gas dispensing fragrance system, how about a steering wheel that tases thieves? Massaging seats that squeeze so tightly you’re trapped until the authorities arrive? An audio system that plays Barney at full volume on endless loop? So many possibilities!

Image Courtesy Flickr