Australia’s top-selling car company Toyota is rolling out a range of app- and cloud-based ‘connected services’ – some for free, and others for an eventual monthly fee.

    It’s a potentially lucrative move for a company that sells more than 200,000 new vehicles here each year. Its decision to charge subscription fees will no doubt be closely watched by rivals.

    The first vehicle to get Toyota Connected Services here is the new Corolla Cross SUV, with the technologies to be rolled out across the range as they get regular updates.

    Toyota will give the gamut of services to customers for free for 12 months, after which time they’ll be offered the choice of three packages.

    The simplest package, called Toyota Essentials, will remain free in perpetuity and comprise:

    • SOS emergency call function
    • Automatic emergency collision notification
    • Vehicle insights to your app
      • Fuel level
      • Odometer reading
      • Distance to empty
      • Whether doors are locked or unlocked
      • Whether windows are open or closed

    The mid-tier package, called Toyota Connect+, will add the following in return for a $9.95 monthly fee:

    • Stolen-vehicle tracking
    • Remote locking and unlocking of doors and boot
    • Remote engine start
    • Remote climate-control system
    • Notification settings for when the vehicle is used by other drivers
    • Access to details of recent trips and vehicle location

    The top-shelf package, called Toyota Connected Multimedia, adds the following extras above and beyond the previously mentioned packs for $12.50 a month:

    • Connected Navigation
    • Connected Voice Assistant, activated by saying “Hey, Toyota”
    • Connected Trip, providing start and finish navigation to and from your vehicle
    • Multimedia profiles, adding navigation and trip settings for up to three drivers

    Toyota Australia vice president of sales, marketing and franchise operations Sean Hanley claims Connected Services “are designed to provide an even better driving experience with an array of technologies focused on making ownership even easier, safer and more enjoyable”.

    Beyond this, seven models are already equipped with an initial release of selected Toyota Connected Services for a three-year complimentary period: Camry, HiLux, LandCruiser 300, Fortuner, Yaris Cross, HiAce and Granvia.

    You can read all the details and FAQs here.

    Mike Costello
    Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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