A chameleon-like vehicle that changes color according to the driver's mood, suggests destinations based on facial expressions, and warns of cars in blind spots forms part of Toyota Motor Corp.'s vision for the future.
The color-changing car is among the concept models that Toyota plans to display at the biennial Tokyo Motor Show this month. Still a work-in-progress, the vehicle codenamed Toyota FV2 presents applications that engineers envision may come out of the automaker's research into humanoid robots and their use of facial and voice recognition.
Toyota joins automakers including General Motors Co. in introducing computer-assisted technology that helps reduce accidents and human error on the road, and may eventually allow cars to drive themselves. Mountain View, Calif.-based Google Inc., operator of the largest Web search engine, has been testing driverless cars in the U.S.
Toyota will also display a concept version of a hydrogen-powered car at the Tokyo show as part of plans to introduce a fuel-cell vehicle around 2015.
Supermarkets in Japan have been rationing butter since spring because of a shortfall in raw milk production. Now, there's concern there won't be enough for the crucial holiday baking season. (usatoday.com)
Japan supports a U.S. move to identify North Korea as the culprit behind the recent hacking of Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., the top government spokesman said Monday, criticizing the attack as a grave national security issue. (Kyodo)
Christmas Eve surpasses Valentine's Day as the romantic dinner event for Japanese couples, but viewed as a socioeconomic read on Japan, the celebration highlights two major problems the country faces: low wages and low birth rates. (cnbc.com)
A man found a body Sunday evening in the Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture, apartment of his younger, 58-year-old brother after the landlord alerted him that his sibling had failed to pay the rent. (Japan Times)
Sales of special Suica cards to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the opening of Tokyo Station were canceled soon after they began Saturday, as a large crowd of people flooded the area. (The Japan News)
The Niigata prefectural government started clearing a section of National Highway Route 405 in Tsunan in the prefecture on Friday, after a landslide mixed with snow blocked off about 50 meters of the road the night before. (The Japan News)
The Chiba Public Safety Commission has banned a 29-year-old man from Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, from riding a bicycle for 90 days, after he was found guilty of cycling under the influence of "kiken" quasi-legal drugs. (Japan Times)