CES 2011: Toyota shows Entune multimedia system

Article by Christian Andrei, on January 5, 2011

At the Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota has launched a new multimedia system dubbed Entune. With this system, customers can use their mobile phones to simplify their in-vehicle experience, by using conversational voice recognition and in-vehicle controls.

To use Entune, customers have to download the Toyota Entune mobile application and get a Bluetooth capable phone to link with their Toyota vehicle. Select models will offer Toyota Entune as an option later this year.

The featured apps of Toyota Entune include: Bing, iheartradio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable.com, and Pandora. It also offers location-based services, such as personalized traffic, fuel prices, stocks, weather, and sports. Toyota also offers a high quality JBL sound system as an option.

Jon Bucci, vice president of the Advanced Technology Department at Toyota, said that the advantage with using Entune is that the driver can interact with informative and entertaining mobile content without fumbling with their phone. He said that what they aim for is to integrate the features that customers are demanding for “seamlessly in the vehicle."

Chris Daniels, general manager of Bing for Mobile at Microsoft Corp., remarked that since the Japanese carmaker is a leader in the auto industry, it only makes sense for it to introduce the latest in mobile technology to the car.

Daniels quipped that by introducing Bing Maps and Bing for Mobile technology to the car, Microsoft is helping Toyota improve the overall in-vehicle experience and make it as rich and robust as possible – which entails personalizing the information to suit the need of each driver.

The new Toyota Entune builds on the superb groundwork started by Safety Connect, adding more personalized and convenient features. Safety Connect has been the centerpiece of the carmaker’s telematics systems that include Automatic Collision notification, Emergency Assistance, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, Roadside Assistance on certain models.

Along with Toyota Entune, Safety Connect is able to provide wide-ranging safety services and mobile applications that other carmakers cannot. Starting this year, the carmaker will offer the Toyota Entune as an option, allowing customers to enjoy a number of apps like Bing, iheartradio and MovieTickets.com as well as OpenTable.com, and Pandora.

Toyota Entune also includes location-based services like personalized traffic, weather and fuel prices, even stocks and sports. The system also offers support for read-back and replay capabilities for text messages.

All of these capabilities are combined with Toyota featured entertainment and communication system like HD Radio, CD player, XM radio and USB connectivity as well as Bluetooth streaming and phonebook. Customers may avail of the optional high quality JBL sound system.

Press Release

Toyota unveils Entune multimedia system

Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. today unveiled the Toyota Entune™ multimedia system at the Consumer Electronics Show. Toyota Entune leverages the customer’s mobile phone to create a rich in-vehicle experience that offers fully integrated and upgradeable entertainment, navigation, and information services. By utilizing conversational voice recognition and in-vehicle controls, the driver doesn’t have to touch their mobile phone, allowing for safer connectivity. Toyota Entune simplifies the interaction for customers and will be available in select vehicles this year.

“Consumers have grown accustomed to having the world at their fingertips through their mobile phones,” said Jon Bucci, vice president of the Advanced Technology Department at Toyota. “And unlike other industry solutions, Entune allows the driver to interact with informative and entertaining mobile content without fumbling with their phone. We offer features that our customers demand and integrate them seamlessly in the vehicle.”

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. Toyota Entune key features include:

• Mobile Apps – Toyota Entune debuts Bing, keeping navigation continuously up to date with more than 16 million points of interest; OpenTable, make a reservation at one of 15,000 restaurants; and MovieTickets.com, buy movie tickets and read reviews. All destinations can be seamlessly sent to the navigation system. Making drivers’ lives even easier, Toyota Entune delivers customizable real time traffic, fuel prices, weather, stocks and sports.

• Music – Toyota Entune brings you more music in more ways with iheartradio’s 750+ hometown stations; personalized stations with Pandora; XM satellite radio 170+ channels with coast-to-coast coverage; and introducing HD Radio, digital broadcasts of your favorite terrestrial music. Toyota Entune also offers USB connectivity for portable media players and traditional terrestrial radio.

• Voice Recognition – Featuring a best-in-class, advanced conversational voice recognition system, Toyota Entune eliminates the need to memorize thousands of voice commands. The intuitive interface allows the driver to focus more on the road ahead.

“Toyota has always been a leader in the automotive industry, so it makes sense it would bring the latest in mobile technology to the car,” said Chris Daniels, general manager of Bing for Mobile, Microsoft Corp. “By bringing Bing Maps and Bing for Mobile technology to the car, we are helping Toyota enhance the overall in-vehicle experience to be as rich and robust as possible, which means personalizing the information to each driver’s needs.”

Safety Connect
Toyota Entune continues to build on the excellent foundation laid by Safety Connect, bringing peace of mind to drivers with an added layer of more personalized and convenience-oriented features. Safety Connect is the cornerstone of Toyota’s telematics systems providing Automatic Collision notification, Stolen Vehicle Location Assistance, Emergency Assistance, and Roadside Assistance on select Toyota models. Safety Connect combined with Toyota Entune offers comprehensive safety services and mobile applications not found in any other vehicle make.

Product Availability
Toyota Entune will be available as an option on select models this year. The featured apps of Toyota Entune include: Bing, iheartradio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable.com, and Pandora, as well as location-based services, such as personalized traffic, fuel prices, stocks, weather, and sports. Toyota Entune also includes support for read-back and replay capabilities for text messages. These are combined with a fully featured entertainment and communication system, which includes XM radio, HD Radio, CD player, USB connectivity, Bluetooth streaming and phonebook. A high quality JBL sound system is available as an option as well.

About Toyota
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Established in 1957, 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. Toyota directly employs nearly 30,000 people in the U.S. and its investment here is currently valued at more than $18 billion.

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