Toyota, Panasonic and a consortium of twenty other Japanese companies are hoping to take advantage of your shuffling buttocks, with plans to create and commercialize [sub required] movement and heat powered components to reduce wiring in cars. The project – led by an NTT Data lab – believes the new technology could cut down on kilometer of power wiring to the average 150 sensors in a luxury car, though it also has applications in pacemakers and boilers.
In fact, anywhere that power is required but tricky to route is fair game, the consortium reckons. In a car, power-generating sensors might be integrated into the seats, so that passenger movement and body head could be harnessed; other potential sources include dim light.
The project hopes to have commercial-scale powerless components ready within the next two to three years, and tip the segment as a whole to be worth $4.4bn by 2020. If all 150 of those luxury car sensors were self-powering and interconnected, they suggest, it could generate enough power to last over a kilometre of driving.