Toyota will be launching its new Entune infotainment system later this year – a product that pairs with a customer's Internet- and Bluetooth-equipped smartphone to bring a host of applications right into the car's navigation screen. Entune is the Japanese automaker's answer to Ford's SYNC system, and we recently had the chance to get a first-hand look at Toyota's latest creation inside of the upcoming 2012 Prius V.
Entune made its official debut at CES back in January, combining functional apps like Bing search and real-time XM information (traffic, weather, fuel prices, sports and stocks) with entertainment features like Pandora and iHeartRadio. What's more, Entune adds restaurant booking capability via OpenTable and allows you to research movie times through MovieTickets.com. Of course, there's a slate of safety features like collision notification and roadside assistance, similar to those found in Lexus' Enform system.
We sat down inside the 2012 Prius V with Toyota's corporate manager for advanced technology, Jim Pisz, to see exactly how Entune works. Pisz tells us that the Prius V will be the first Toyota vehicle to feature Entune, but that we will likely see it spread to higher-volume models like the Camry and Tacoma by the end of the year.
In all, Entune looks to be a pretty slick system. The touch-screen display is easy to navigate, though it isn't as visually appealing as the Blue Oval's MyFord Touch. See a full walk-through of Entune for yourself in the video after the jump. As an added bonus, click here to see an Entune hands-on from our friends at Engadget, as well.
Editor's Note: Because Entune pairs to a smartphone, if there's a lengthy loss of signal at any time, that will cause Entune to become temporarily unresponsive. This happened during our preview outside of New York's Plaza Hotel, and thus, the video begins after Pisz restarted the system.
[Lead image: Steven J. Ewing/AOL]