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.
- 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
"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."
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.
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.