Is Toyota Entune too advanced?

One of the big differences the way Toyota Entune works is that data is retrieved live. The huge advantage is that Toyota can/will constantly update their database, including the speech recognition system (when they see common items being misinterpretted etc) and there is no need to upgrade the in car system. Ford’s Sync requires the voice recognition system to be flash updated periodically.

The disadvantage with this method, hoever, is that Toyota Entune won’t work if you don’t have a signal – whether that’s driving through a tunnel or somewhere in the middle of no where – Entune will keep attempting to resend the signal until it goes through.

Picture of Restaurant SearchThe whole system is tied through your smartphone. That means there are no additional fees to the Toyota entune, other than data transfer rates on your phone, unlike GM and it’s OnStar. Are that many people already on a fast 3g network, or the even faster 4g network? In demonstrations, Entune was a little slow to respond. Toyota said users on a 4G network shouldn’t have any problems at all (wouldn’t Toyota want to make sure they had it hooked to the 4G network when they were demonstrating Entune for the first time?)

It will be interesting to see if these features are too advanced for most users to appreciate – is Toyota too far ahead of their time still? Let us know what you think in the forum

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Toyota Entune Video

Very cool video from Youtube – it’s a walk through of the Toyota Entune system.

Watch as the presenter does a quick search on Bing for coffee shops nearby, and then uses Entune to play some local stations through iheartradio, and then looks up movietickets, and gets directions to the theatre, and finally Toyota Entune makes reservations for dinner. All with the click of a finger.

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Toyota Entune Partner Quotes

Toyota’s website has a comprehensive listing of quotes from Entune’s major partners, including HD Radio, MovieTickets, Pandora and Bing.

Here’s some of our favorites:

MovieTickets.com “Our participation with Toyota’s Entune is a significant step in helping to achieve that goal, while simultaneously providing tremendous visibility for the MovieTickets.com brand on an exceptionally innovative platform.”

JBL who is providing a premium sound system as an option with the Entune: “We are proud to add the Toyota Entune multimedia system to this experience as part of our long and successful relationship with Toyota”

Pandora “The most natural way to interact with Pandora in the car is through the dashboard,” said Tim Westergren, Pandora founder and chief strategy officer.

VoiceBox is the system that powers the voice commands on the Toyota Entune: “We are proud to continue working with Toyota to increasingly leverage the VoiceBox Conversational Voice Platform to provide the perfect mix of content accessibility, usability and safety,”

Get the full list here

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Entune Product Availability

According to Toyota, Entune will be available as an option on select models this year. What does that mean? Nobody knows – there’s some buzz that Toyota Entune will be available on the Prius V, but Toyota’s website says nothing to confirm that.

Featured Apps of Toyota Entune will include iheartradio, Bing, OpenTable.com, MovieTickets.com and Pandora.

There are also a whole bunch of location specific apps, such as Traffic, Fuel Prices, Stocks, Weather and of course Sports.

XML Radio, HD Radio, CD player, USB connectivity and bluetooth streaming are available as well.

Toyota Entune will also have a high quality JBL sound system option.

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Toyota Entune Video

Toyota Entune Teaser Video on Youtube

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Toyota Entune Officially Released

At the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show in Vegas, Toyota revealed their integrated communications system to compete with Ford Sync and GM Onstar. They’ve called it ‘Entune’.

Entune will integrate with a customer’s cell phone and their apps are used to create a “rich in-vehicle experience”.

John Bucci, the president of the Advanced Technology Department at Toyota says “Consumers have grown accustomed to having the world at their fingertips”.

“… Entune allows the driver to interact with informative and entertaining mobile content without fumbling with their phone”

Among other things, this system is Toyota’s solution to get you to stop fumbling with your phone while driving. Toyota Entune uses industry leading voice recognition and in-vehicle controls. The driver doesn’t need to even touch their phone once they’re in the car.

Toyota says Entune will be available in ‘select vehicles’ this year. And the question everyone wants to know…. what vehicles are those?!

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