Toyota launches Entune, as Sprint partners with Peterbilt Motors and Kenworth Truck Co. on in-dash solutions

Toyota launches Entune, as Sprint partners with Peterbilt Motors and Kenworth Truck Co. on in-dash solutions

Toyota launched its new state-of-the-art multimedia system, Toyota Entune, which leverages mobile phones to integrate entertainment, navigation, and information services into vehicles. Conversational voice recognition and in-vehicle controls enable drivers to control the system without clicking their mobile phones, allowing for safer in-vehicle connectivity. Toyota Entune also offers a suite of integrated apps, like Bing, iheartradio,,, and Pandora. Toyota Entune won the best in show award from CNET in the automotive category at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

“Consumers have grown accustomed to having the world at their fingertips through their mobile phones,” says Jon Bucci, vice president of the Advanced Technology Department at Toyota. “And unlike other industry solutions, Entune allows the driver to interact with informative and entertaining mobile content without fumbling with their phone. We offer features that our customers demand and integrate them seamlessly in the vehicle.” After downloading the Toyota Entune mobile app and pairing a Bluetooth capable phone with a Toyota vehicle, customers will be able to access a wide variety of personalized content and services. The system will be available in select Toyota vehicles this year.

Detroit Auto Show

Automotive companies arrived en masse in Detroit for the annual North America International Auto Show. This year’s show comes on the heels of a positive 2010 in which many auto companies, including America’s big three—General Motors, Ford, and Fiat-owned Chrysler—all rebounded with strong profits and increased sales from the previous three years. Fifty of the world’s top auto brands are exhibiting flashy new EVs, concept vehicles, and production-ready cars. Ford, for instance, has a massive display decked out with 75 vehicles, 22 interactive exhibits, and an elevated track to test drive electric vehicles. The show runs from January 10 to 23. Telematics Update will run a full review of the telematics news from the show next week.

NAVTEQ measures navigation savings

NAVTEQ released a free online tool that calculates the potential savings delivered by using navigation systems. The service is designed to cover both private and professional drivers. Fleet managers can use it to estimate the impact in relation to a group of vehicles, while car dealerships and PND manufacturers can use it to demonstrate the savings to consumers at the point of sale. NAVTEQ research has found that fuel consumption can be cut by 12 percent, which equates to savings of over 400 euros per year per vehicle when fleets adopt navigation systems. CO2 emissions can drop by as much as 24 percent. Using the new NAVTEQ online tool, users can calculate the potential savings in relation to specific vehicles, driving habits, and local fuel prices.

The Xact Platform

Xact Technology unveiled a new open-architecture M2M solution, the Xact Platform. The platform consists of hardware, software, data network, and a user-interface portal that allows third-party developers to create independent modules that can be easily integrated with the Xact Development Board. Developers can also leverage the platform’s cellular connectivity, GPS positioning capabilities, and back-end utilities to relay additional location-based data and create innovative M2M applications. Xact customers will have multiple choices for viewing and using data thanks to several tailored user interfaces including consumer-oriented tracking portals and highly integrated portals for fleet management, usage-based insurance, telemedicine, smart grid, and security applications.

Parkmobile and Streetline

Parkmobile and Streetline agreed to integrate their smart parking technologies into their mobile phone applications. Streetline will integrate Parkmobile’s pay-by-phone option into Parker, Streetline’s new parking guidance mobile app that gives drivers an instant, location-based map pinpointing the city blocks with the most available parking spaces. The Streetline Parker app also delivers information about parking space time limits, pricing, and types of payments accepted. Users can opt-in to receive one text message reminder fifteen minutes prior to their parking expiring. In turn, Parkmobile will integrate Streetline’s Parker guidance app into its pay-by-phone parking service, which enables drivers to find available spaces that accept payment via mobile phone.

Sprint teams with Kenworth and Peterbilt

Sprint partnered with Peterbilt Motors and Kenworth Truck Co. to add mobile connectivity to the companies’ respective in-dash solutions, SmartNav and NavPlus, to be launched in the coming months. SmartNav and NavPlus are navigation and business technology systems that provide real-time traffic updates and directions as well as hands-free phoning with Bluetooth, back-up camera options, and vehicle data and audio controls. Sprint will provide SmartNav and NavPlus with vehicle connectivity services for drivers to use easily and safely while traveling. When a truck is not in motion, the driver will be able to access the Internet and send and receive emails to enhance communications with dispatchers, logistics providers, and shippers. The Sprint connectivity service is available as an option.

Andrew Tolve is a regular contributor to TU.

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