Luxury cars have lots of features that us plebeians will never see on our sad little mid-market vehicles. But this feature, a mixture of art experiment, engineering and, well, ego, is a bit more over the top than most. Meet the Lexus that creates a portrait of you, every time you drive.
Needless to say, this isn’t a “painting” in the sense that the Lexus flips on a beret and starts examining your proportions. Instead it’s more of a digital rendering of how you look drawn by your car’s computer. What’s interesting is how that portrait is created, since it’s based not on how you look or how much disposable income you have, but rather your driving habits.
Here’s how it works. The computer in this Lexus IS 300h hybrid will create a portrait of you as you drive, in the style of Sergio Abliac, an artist who combines generative code and art techniques to create images and who participated in the project. But it’s based entirely on how fast you’re going; the faster your speed, the broader and more dashed the stroke of the brush. But go slowly and your portrait will have finer, more precise strokes. Also, if you’re using electrical power, the colors will be cooler, while using gasoline makes the colors warmer.
Needless to say, it creates some pretty interesting portraits, depending entirely on your driving circumstances and how you push, or don’t push, your hybrid.
Sadly, you’re not going to be able to get this as an option if you swing by your local Lexus dealer; it was intended entirely as a one-off idea to help promote the hybrid. But it’s still neat to see the intersection between art, generative code, and commerce. And who knows? Maybe you can hack it into your car when you get
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.