Japanese company Toyoda Gosei launched their brand new vehicle, called the Flesby II, where the body panels are covered in a soft rubber that is able to take the impact of a collision without damaging itself.
Takashi Ishikawa, managing officer of Toyoda Gosei, said: "We put airbags, which are mainly employed inside the car, on its exterior, such as its hood or fender, to protect the entire body."
Whilst they added on their website: "In the event of contact with a pedestrian, the soft body serves a safety function in absorbing the impact. It also serves in communicating with surrounding drivers and pedestrians though LED lights. The use of e-Rubber, a next-generation rubber that moves with electric power, is envisioned to change the shape of the body ...
"Sit in this concept model to experience for yourself the softly-textured material that envelops vehicle occupants, the soothing space created with LED lighting, and the communication function between the vehicle and its occupants."
At the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyoda Gosei also unveiled their next-generation concepts, which they say are perfect for autonomous and electric vehicles.
They shared: "These modules create relaxing interior spaces in which more of the driving is left to the vehicle. In addition to an instrument panel and console box that function as a human-machine interface (HMI), a next-generation steering wheel is able to sense the driver's condition with cameras and sensors.
"Grille modules comprising the radiator grille and other exterior components are equipped with cameras and millimeter wave radar for autonomous driving systems. Exterior communication lamps will also serve an HMI function to inform people around of the vehicle's conditions and intentions. A plastic body is used to reduce the weight compared with metal."