Toyota plans to make navigation systems standard on all of its completely redesigned 2018 Camrys, the head of the maker’s connected vehicle unit announced during a news conference at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
That move is part of a broader push by the automaker to expand the availability of connected car technologies and services, some as standard equipment, others as profitable options. Many of the features Toyota is working on update its infotainment technology, others will improve vehicle safety and functionality.
“The amount of technology in cars has been growing exponentially,” said Sandy Lobenstein during his NAIAS News conference.
Toyota’s effort to capitalize on that shift covers a wide range of ground. For buyers of the next-generation Camry, it will pay off with the decision to make navigation standard on all models starting in 2018, although there will be two different systems. On lower-end models, motorists will be able to tap into the Scout GPS Link that uses a smartphone app. It’s similar to the system on some of Chevrolet’s small cars, such as the Sonic.
(Toyota introduces redesigned 2018 Camry. Click Here for the story.)
Higher-end Camrys will get a more advanced navi system called Dynamic Navigation. Like most onboard mapping systems, it will have a roadway database loaded into the vehicle. The problem is that these databases often are out of date, Lobenstein noting “less than 10%” of owners ever both to get the map updates available through dealers.
Toyota’s Dynamic Navigation will start with the onboard database but, as a motorist starts driving, it will connect with Toyota Center, the maker’s digital communications center. That will result in constant updates, if and when needed, of a four-square-mile area around the vehicle.
(Click Here for more about Toyota’s plans for its car line-up.)
“It overlays the new road data when you drive,” Lobenstein said. When plugging in a destination, meanwhile, Dynamic Navigation will also tap into updates along your route.
Other new features are similar to the General Motors OnStar system, including an emergency call service that can be activated with the touch of a button – with the system activating automatically “in the event of a crash,” Lobenstein added. Service Connect, meanwhile, allows for remote vehicle diagnostics and can even connect a vehicle owner with the dealer of their choice to schedule service.
At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show, Toyota announced it was launching the next-generation infotainment system, Entune 3, on the Camry. The system will now add WiFi capable, standard on high-end versions of the popular midsize sedan.
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Toyota also is expanding its push into ride and car-sharing services such as San Francisco-based GetAround. That car-sharing service will introduce a system called Smart Key Box making it easier for vehicle owners to get keys to customers, Lobenstein explained.