Automakers have struggled with infotainment systems for years, only recently landing on systems that are straightforward and intuitive. Now a Chinese automaker wants to take it to the next level, offering holographic anime character personal assistants in the new Bestune T77 crossover. It’s car-waifu time, everybody!
The new system is referred to as a “holographic intelligent control system” according to Car News China, and features three animated characters that include a robot, a small boy and, uh, a school girl. There are five dressing options for each character, too.
The concept of repurposed, often sexually suggestive animated characters stems from fandom culture, where fans of popular anime and manga stories fantasize and dramatize their favorite characters into fan fiction stories. Characters are often characterized as a waifu or husbando, where fans develop serious attractions and relationships with fictional animated characters. Now it seems this culture is, uh, extending to cars.
The characters appear within a swiveling display that projects images into what looks like some sort of prism, mimicking a holographic effect while actually just being a projected image.
You can see a video of it in action here.
These personal assistants can carry out 43 functions, like making phone calls, adjusting the radio station and music volume, switching on the wipers, etc. via voice commands. If you and your waifu are arguing, you can just use the large touch screen instead. Another large screen replaces a traditional instrument panel in front of the driver.
The T77 looks like an edgier version of Skoda’s latest design language, and it comes with a 1.2-liter turbo four-cylinder good for 143 horsepower and about 150 lb-ft of torque. It can be optioned with a seven-speed DCT automatic or, get this, a five-speed manual.
In an age where branding rules all, having a passenger-interaction system with custom characters could go a long way in developing new “relationships” with customers. Just maybe don’t make them little boys and school girls?
It’d be rad if like, Courage the Cowardly Dog was telling me I was about to rear-end someone. I’d also take instruction from Captain America. UwU.