Remember, back in the old days, when everyone wore wristwatches? Remember when they had hands and you had to spin that little dial on the side to wind them up every day? That was so cute. Now we have fitness trackers on our wrists that show more information than any one human needs to know about their activity levels. Next up from Toyota is a car that does the same thing.
Cars aren’t traditionally what people think of operating when it comes time to get a little exercise. Normally you leave your car in the driveway and walk, run, or bike to wherever it is you’re going if you want to be healthy about the process.
That won’t always work since we often need to drive too far to make those things practical. There are times when we simply must drive our cars, which does nothing to help us up those fitness stats or achieve that coveted 10,000 steps every day. Toyota is here to help.
A recent patent filed by the company reveals a plan for integrating fitness tracking into a car’s infotainment system. All you need is to do is connect your smartphone to your car and it will helpfully heckle you to do the right thing and get a little exercise.
The idea is that the car will be able to access a smartphone app that tracks your fitness goals. It could be to burn a certain number of calories, walk a certain number of steps, or whatever health goal you choose to input. Once that smartphone is connected to your car, then the car will take that information and look at the progress you’re making to see if you need to get out and do a little walking.
Imagine you put a destination into your navigation system. Your car will helpfully let you know if you should stop along the way and take a walking break. It will also let you know how many extra steps you’ll get in if you park a little further from your destination. Whether that’s the furthest corner of the office parking lot or a few blocks away is your call.
In truth, it’s a great idea given how obsessed people are with hitting their daily fitness goals. Driving a car is about the only time we’re off the hook, but Toyota might take away that excuse and turn even your commute to work into a workout.