There are people in New York City who put rubber shields on their bumpers to stop them from being scratched from other drivers tapping their cars while parallel parking. That’s amateur hour compared to this concept car from Toyoda Gosei, which surrounds nearly the entire body with ... airbags.
The car, on display at the Tokyo Motor Show now, was first introduced a couple years ago at the same show. It’s called the Flesby, a name which I like. (This year’s is actually the Flesby II.) It has LED lights inside the soft texture of its exterior. It’s probably never going to become a real thing, but in the meantime it’s a lot of fun to look at.
The concept was produced by Toyoda Gosei, a rubber parts manufacturer that was spun off of Toyota decades ago. The Flesby was apparently intended to show off the durable and elastic nature of some of Toyoda Gosei’s product.
It also, of course, was made with practical concerns in mind. From Reuters:
“We put airbags, which are mainly employed inside the car, on its exterior, such as its hood or fender, to protect the entire body,” Takashi Ishikawa, managing officer of Toyoda Gosei Co, said on Wednesday.
LED lights projected onto the rubber also allow the driver to communicate with pedestrians and other vehicles, the company said.
“In the event of contact with a pedestrian, the soft body serves a safety function in absorbing the impact,” the company said.
It’s a car designed to keep you safe from the world, and the world safe from you. This could be the safest car ever made, as long as Takata didn’t “help out” with the construction of the airbags. Here all night, folks.