Toyota provides in-vehicle mobile applications via Entune multimedia system
By Dan Butcher
January 6, 2011
Toyota Entune features popular mobile apps and voice recognition
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc. has unveiled the in-vehicle Toyota Entune multimedia system featuring mobile applications such as Microsoft’s Bing, Clear Channel’s iheartradio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable and Pandora.
Toyota Entune leverages the customer's mobile phone to create an in-vehicle experience that offers integrated and upgradeable entertainment, navigation and information services. By using conversational voice recognition and in-vehicle controls, the driver does not have to touch their mobile phone, enabling safer connectivity.
“We’re seeing the popularity of applications among consumers, and our current objectives are to bring the app world to the vehicle,” said Jim Pisz, corporate manager, Advanced Technology Department, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc., Torrance, CA. “We want to provide a richer and more robust multimedia experience for the vehicle.
“With this new strategy we’re able to provide a much more robust experience, Entune introduces apps such as Pandora and iheartradio, which all have unique features compared to our existing platforms, which all blend together seamlessly,” he said. “We bring in location information using Bing, and most of our Toyota customers go to movies and eat out, so MovieTickets.com and OpenTable will also be initial launch applications with Entune.
“We tried to simplify the process as much as possible, so when a customer buys an Entune-equipped vehicle, they can go to Toyota.com, enter the VIN number of the car and theytype of phone they have, and we will tell them where and how to download Entune.”
Is that Larry David in there?
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion.
TMS markets products and services through a network of nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers, which sold more than 1.77 million vehicles in 2009.
Entune with mobile
Toyota Entune is designed to simplify the interaction for customers and will be available in select vehicles this year.
Toyota Mobile Shopping Tool
After downloading the Toyota Entune mobile application and pairing a Bluetooth-capable phone with their Toyota vehicle, customers can begin accessing a wide variety of personalized content and services.
Toyota Entune is wirelessly upgradeable, so in-vehicle applications are never obsolete.
Ensuring that nearly all customers can take advantage of this new technology, Toyota Entune is compatible with a wide variety of mobile phones with a data plan.
The key features of the multimedia system include mobile applications, music and voice recognition.
Toyota Entune debuted with Bing, keeping navigation continuously up to date with more than 16 million points of interest, as well as OpenTable, letting users make a reservation at one of 15,000 restaurants.
The MovieTickets.com application lets Toyota customers buy movie tickets and read reviews.
All destinations can be seamlessly sent to the navigation system.
Toyota Entune also delivers customizable real-time traffic, fuel prices, weather, stocks and sports.
The multimedia system also features iheartradio's 750-plus hometown stations, personalized stations with Pandora, XM satellite radio’s 170-plus channels with coast-to-coast coverage and HD Radio, digital broadcasts of terrestrial music.
Toyota Entune also offers USB connectivity for portable media players and traditional terrestrial radio.
Featuring a conversational voice recognition system, Toyota Entune eliminates the need to memorize thousands of voice commands. The interface is designed to help the driver to focus more on the road ahead.
The platform also includes support for read-back and replay capabilities for text messages.
Toyota Entune will be available as an option on select models this year.
“We’re very concerned with driver distraction and the safety of our customers, so we have a comprehensive strategy for providing safety for our customers,” Mr. Pisz said. “One real key advantage that makes this better than our competitors is the way we’ve been able to manage consumer products lifecycle, which is less than a year, compared to a vehicle’s life cycle, which is many years.
“It is all managed via a server in a cloud-based environment, so we can add new applications on the server,” he said. “Customers that bought previous products will all get the same updates and replacement apps.
“Over-the-air updates are a critical difference that sets Entune apart.”
Stefan Weitz, director of Bing at Microsoft, Redmond, WA
Related content: Content, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc., Entune, Toyota Entune, Toyota, Jim Pisz, multimedia system, mobile applications, apps, Microsoft, Bing, Clear Channel, iheartradio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable, Pandora, mobile marketing, mobile
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