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Toyota Patents Strange Drill-Like Car Attachment

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Toyota patent

Toyota is always up to strange and interesting things when it comes to patents. In 2013 alone the automaker secured more than a thousand patents, and in the past we have seen some for flying vehicles and cloaking devices.

Now we have this.

Toyota patent

What is it? Well, it kind of looks like a drill that would be attached to the back of a sedan. Fortunately, it’s nothing of the sort—we imagine nobody wants to get impaled should they accidentally rear-end a Toyota.

The device is instead telescopic, with an actuator that can deploy it for the purpose of reducing drag. Historically, improving a vehicle’s drag, and thus its aerodynamic efficiency and its fuel economy, has always been hardest at the rear.

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But this aero device would help make the overall body of the car more streamlined and help a car like the Camry—the model used in the patent—glide through the air with less effort.

Still, even if it would prove to be perfectly safe in the event of a rear collision, it’s unlikely the device will ever see the light of day; if not because of the added weight, which would almost surely counter the fuel economy benefits, then because nobody would like the style.

Then again, some people might enjoy driving a vehicle that looks as though it could reverse into a mountain and bore a tunnel. You can bet the guys behind The Fast and the Furious franchise would find a way to work that into an over-the-top escape sequence.

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