Truls Thorstensen (EFS Consulting Vienna), Karl Grammer (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Urban Ethology) and other researchers at the University of Vienna say that people make lots of assumptions about sex, age, emotions, and intentions by looking at human faces - and we do it with cars as well.
They're not the first ones to come up with this idea; five year olds have been finding personalities in inanimate objects for thousands of years and my kid has been saying "Ka-chow!" ever since he saw Cars,
but they are the first ones to tackle it in a systematic fashion.
How did they do it? They asked people to describe car grills anthropomorphically. Then they used geometric morphometrics
to calculate the corresponding shape information, whatever that means. One-third of the respondents associated a human or animal face with over 90 percent of the cars and everyone noted eyes (headlights), a mouth (air intake/grill), and a nose in 50 percent of the cars. Yep, that means people think cars have a personality.