We, as a population, give Toyota a hard time. We call it boring, we’ve made the beige Camry the industry leader in blah, and we’re mean about the common dent patterns in its cars. But let’s put that aside, because Toyota just filed a patent of dreams: a device to catch all of the stuff we drop between the seats.
The patented idea can be read in full here, with all of the patent speak and robotic language you could ever hope for on a groggy Monday morning. But if you just want a simple breakdown of it all, we’ve got you covered.
Toyota’s idea, basically, involves chutes and moving platforms to get whatever you happen to drop between the seats going the right direction. The chutes are meant to go underneath the gaps in the vehicle’s interior to save your precious small items from falling into the depths of the unknown—for each seat, there would be a chute in the gap between it and the center console as well as one between the seat and the door.
The chutes would slide whatever you dropped right onto a motorized, moving platform below the seat, which could be controlled manually by someone in the car or by an automated sensor. The platform, whether moved by a person or the car’s sensor, would spit out the item at “a desired location.”
Here’s a rough and confusing sketch of how it would work:
Imagine if, one day, this technology makes its way into vehicles rather than sitting on the patent shelf for the rest of our short, frustrating lives made even shorter by the amount of time we have to spend sticking our arms under car seats and faces on floorboards. What a day that would be.
Toyota, we may call you boring, but you sure are practical. We like you. Please put this in your cars, and in everyone else’s cars, too.