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Toyota Entune – Click above for high-res image gallery

It's been nearly four years since Ford and Microsoft introduced SYNC to the world, and since then nearly every major OEM has been playing catch-up – including the planet's largest automaker. For Toyota, that ends today with the introduction of Entune, a new integrated multimedia system that uses the driver's Net-enabled and Bluetooth-equipped smartphone.

For anyone familiar with SYNC or the Connected systems recently introduced by BMW and Mini, the list of available applications and features includes the usual suspects. Entune comes equipped with search functionality provided by Bing, along with streaming audio from Pandora and iheartradio, restaurant booking through OpenTable and show times and ticket purchasing through MovieTickets.com. Real time traffic, weather conditions, fuel prices, sports scores and stocks are all user-customizable, while Bing Maps handles navigation duties and a text-to-speech system reads off text messages.

Additionally, Toyota has equipped Entune with a new voice recognition technology which the automaker claims is one of the most advanced conversational systems on the market. Entune also integrates with Toyota's existing Safety Connect telematics system, which handles everything from collision notification to roadside assistance.

As for availability, Toyota is only saying that Entune will work with "most smartphones and feature phones" and will be coming to select vehicles later this year. We'll be pumping Toyota's reps for more information when we hit the ground in Vegas later this week, and expect our first impressions of the systems soon. In the meantime, hit the jump for the official details and a 1999-rendered animation of the Entune in action.

Show full PR text
Toyota Announces EntuneTM Multimedia System at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show
  • Toyota Offers the Largest Number of Mobile Apps with Bing, iheartradio, MovieTickets.com, OpenTable.com, and Pandora
  • Entune Boasts Industry-Leading Advanced Conversational Voice Recognition
  • Toyota Entune Is Compatible with Most Smartphones and Feature Phones
LAS VEGAS, January 4, 2011 – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS) U.S.A., Inc. today unveiled the Toyota EntuneTM 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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      Do to saftey concerns on the road we have been trying for years to get Alcohol out from behind the wheel. Now its the telephone too that needs to get out from behind the wheel.
      Don`t have to be drunk or have just one beer in you to be dangerous.
      Cell phones are just as bad. I say shut up and drive.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So Consumer Reports just panned Ford for their infotainment system, saying it was difficult to use and distracting. Will they do the same for Toyota's equipped with this system? Don't hold your breath!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Most people who will buy this will already have Android or iPhones which already contain all this crap they will now charge you for. I want a car that takes me from point a to point b, and if I want to surf the internet I can speak into my Android or wait until I get home or to the office where a very nice computer awaits my commands.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Well since the current head units in Toyota's look like they came out of the 80's - it is about time they did something to update their electronics (just don't go button crazy like Honda).
      • 4 Years Ago
      They should intro this in the new iQ to start and other Scions to start.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Looking at the screenshots, I am not seeing anything that cannot be done on your average smartphone. Why would anyone pay for this?
      • 4 Years Ago
      You would figure coming late to the party you could make an entrance but by looking at this, it's a major let-down. Then again, Toyota buyers should be focused on the road ahead, and the brake pedal rather than playing with infotainment.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The interface looks very fragmented. There isn't one consistent theme and color palette to tie it all together.
        • 4 Years Ago
        It is perfectly consistent with the theme of their vehicles:

        • 4 Years Ago
        Looks okay to me but SYNC is certainly years ahead!

        They should all just leave a spot on the dash for a tablet or iPad and call it a day!
      • 4 Years Ago
      Was this developed in-house, or with collaboration by Microsoft? The only thing that would lead me to ask is because of the use of Bing search as default
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's not really clear whether the Entune system itself was in-house but the Bing stuff was done together with Microsoft, though that's kinda self-evident.
        It looks pretty decent and seems to be pretty cool if only for the near-unlimited selection of radio stations with Pandora and iheartradio. Who needs satellite or HD radio if you can get internet radio.
      • 4 Years Ago
      As these systems become more and more complicated to operate while you are driving, the question arises, "What is so bad about texting?"
      Driver/users of these systems should pause and think before making any reply.
      • 4 Years Ago
      How do these things actually get data? Does the car company lease access to a 3G network from a cell phone company?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I find the music apps the most interesting. I think this is just another step towards the end of terrestrial radio as we know it. This will allow most users to access internet radio easier than ever before in their Toyotas. http://bit.ly/sciontestdrive
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