Children from all over the world gathered at Toyota's annual Dream Car Art Contest at Tokyo's bay side on 26 August, to share ideas and drawings on the future of cars.

Families were invited to watch their children receive prizes for some of their unique ideas, such as cars that allow people to share ideas without language barriers, cars that could plant seeds, or cars that could unite relatives living far away.

The contest encouraged children to stretch their imagination. One of the more unusual entries depicted tiny cars that could wash people's mouths. But many of the cars were designed to solve social issues that were present in the children's home countries.

Minhal Adnan Sami, nine, from the United Arab Emirates, received this year's new Engineering Inspiration Award for her Ecofix Car, which she says would run on vegetable and fruit compost, and collect rainwater to water plants. The award goes to the entry that inspired Toyota's car production staff the most. Her prize-winning drawing was made in to a 3D model.

"It's more for poor people. They have to collect vegetable and fruit compost, the waste, and they will put it in the fuel tank, and then the car separates the seeds from the compost and dries them, and throws them on the ground," Sami said. "And then, the water, the car preserves rain water so it can water the plants, and the new plants can grow."

Canadian Hye In Park, 15, received the President Akio Toyoda Award, selected by Toyota's president, for her Dream Society car, designed to unite families living far away.

"My dream is that I can live with all my family members together, because I am an immigrant from Korea. I live in Canada now, and everyone else lives in like Korea, U.S.A. And I want to, I want to one day live with all of them together in one society," Park said.

Toyota officials say they are hoping to fuel the progress of the future with the contest. "In order for the global community to keep progressing, it is important that Toyota nurtures the imagination of children, who represent our future," 51-year-old Yoichi Miyazaki, managing officer for Toyota Japan said.