Japan Car at the Science Museum: how Japan’s car manufacturers are imagining a networked future for our cars

Japan car model
a trip to the Science Museum on Friday saw Mediation and colleagues visit the Japan Car exhibition.  described as an exploration of the car as a 'mobile cell', the exhibition shows how Japanese car design reflects the 'soil and the
spirit of Japan'.  click thru for the exhibition's Flickr and YouTube sites.

one of the most interesting aspects of the exhibition was said exploration of car as mobile cell;

"The future will bring more than individual drivers each controlling a single car.  cars will become parts of whole transport systems integrated with the surrounding city.  the essence of a car us already shifting from its drive train to its information systems … The concept of cars evolving into moving urban cells is visualised by portraying cars as blood corpuscles flowing through capillaries."

the concept is captured in this video from the exhibition, which shows visual representations of traffic volumes and traffic flows around central Tokyo; generated from GPS signals continuously transmitted from several thousand cars.

"the cars are seen to be circulating, radiating out from the central area near the Imperial Palace just like red blood cells traveling around the body through a network of blood vessel centred on the heart".  its a very new way of examining how the nature of the network will come to predominate how we communicate – both passively and actively – with each other.

how long before cars get their own social networking system?  our vehicles constantly transmitting data about where they go and how they get there to their Facebook equivalent?  what will they learn from each other?  and what will we learn from them?

great exhibition, which the manufacturers don't seem to have capitalised on in a wider marketing perspective.  perhaps these things are just better left to exist in isolation; another element to be added – by consumers – to their brand molecules (as theorised by John Grant in After Image).  then again, Mediation can't help but think there was an opportunity (missed) to take the great contents of the exhibition to a wider – broadcast – audience.  press partnership anyone?  …anyone?

Japan car blossom

Japan car in bitsJapan car streamline

 Japan car illustration

Japan car bonsai

3 responses to “Japan Car at the Science Museum: how Japan’s car manufacturers are imagining a networked future for our cars

  1. Fascinating. Agree about the missed opportunity. If I hadn’t have read about it here I wouldn’t have known about it, which is a shame. Some of the applications of this thinking are just mind-bloggling

  2. The Japanese always managed to amaze me in the unique ways of their amazing minds! I do believe this would be a great future to our car systems! It would change they way we move from one place to another.

  3. True. It’s a shame that an event like this seems to have went by unnoticed. Nevertheless, the ideas the Japanese have for their cars are quite fascinating. Technology has to evolve, so that the cars of the future would be safer and more efficient.

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