April 28, 2012, 7:09 AM — Chinese auto-maker BYD took the wraps off its latest vehicle ahead of the Beijing International Automotive Exhibition, and although at first glance the new car may look fairly typical, the Qin (pronounced Chin) electric hybrid packs in one key differentiator: an on-board robot.
The upcoming car's most unique feature is a robot built into its dashboard that looks strikingly similar to Eve from Pixar movie WALL•E. The robot, which pops out of the dash when needed, is expected to work as a terminal for communicating with BYD's networking system. The BYD 'i' networking system controls the vehicles wireless internet, location services and music downloads.
The robot is also purported to have voice control and built-in cameras for remote monitoring and helping spot when the vehicles driver is tired, known as 'driver fatigue detection'.
The Qin will reportedly cost around $30,000 when it launches. We don't know much else about the Qin's on-board robot yet, but the company says it'll announce more details at this week's Beijing Auto Show.
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