Toyota and Lexus are getting ready to introduce a new cloud-based infotainment system that supports over-the-air updates.
The chief operating officer of Toyota Connected North America, Steve Basra, says the new system will be rolled out across the Toyota brand’s line-up over the next 3-4 years.
Automotive News reports Toyota Connected is also working on new systems like a parking garage locator that tells you what level you parked on, plus a hybrid fuel economy coach.
The company’s CEO, Zack Hicks, said engineers are also working on deploying in-vehicle sensors to detect heartbeats and monitor the internal temperature of the car.
Toyota Connected has also been working with both Mazda and an unidentified automaker to improve infotainment systems and post-sale service offerings.
The new Audio Multimedia system features more modern graphics and supports smartphone-style operation, including the ability to swipe and pinch.
In the Tundra, it’s available with either an 8.0-inch or 14-inch display and features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
There’s a voice assistant, activated by saying “Ok, Toyota”, that works in a similar fashion to Siri or Google Assistant – for example, you can say “Ok Toyota, change the temperature to 20 degrees”.
You can also save user profiles via the Toyota App smartphone app. That means you can then step into another Toyota equipped with the new infotainment system and reload your media and climate preferences.
Five shortcut buttons can be found on the side of the screen.
There’s also available Apple Music, Amazon Music and wi-fi hotspot capability.
The 2022 Lexus NX will be offered in Australia exclusively with a 14-inch screen, and Lexus’ system also features “Hey Lexus” speech recognition.
The luxury brand has been gradually rolling out touchscreen functionality across its line-up, and the new NX banishes the oft-maligned trackpad.
Lexus Connected Services is also standard on all NX models, featuring SOS calling, automatic collision notification and stolen vehicle tracking.
Lexus says it will “shortly announce the exciting new features that leverage the all-new connected technologies available”.
In the US, features like cloud-based navigation with Google points of interest will be offered in the NX under separate subscriptions.
Toyota Australia is in the process of rolling out the Toyota Connected Services suite of technologies, which uses an embedded SIM and has a corresponding app called myToyota Connect.
This includes stolen vehicle tracking, an emergency call function, and automatic collision notification, while the app allows you to set guest driver settings and check the status of your vehicle, including how much fuel it has left and whether its windows are down.
Toyota also offers the Toyota Link app, which allows you to create and send trips to your Toyota’s navigation system, plus set parking reminders and find your parked location.
In North America, the Toyota brand has for several years offered an ‘app suite’ historically marketed under the Entune name.
This also features a corresponding app not available in the Australian market that allows owners to do things like remotely lock, unlock and start their Toyota vehicles.
We’ve contacted Toyota Australia to learn its rollout plans for the updated infotainment systems.