CES 2011: Toyota Entune ready to fight Ford's SYNC... almost [w/video]

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, get the full details below and check out a 1999-rendered animation of the Entune in action.

The video meant to be presented here is no longer available. Sorry for the inconvenience.

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