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Auto Show:  2011 Consumer Electronics Show

Toyota gets Entune to Compete with Ford's Sync - 2011 Consumer Electronics Show


January 2011 author photo

Autotrader


Source: AutoTrader.com
January 6, 2011

Toyota is the latest automaker to announce an in-car, multi-media system and it appears to be one of the more robust offerings, similar to Ford’s benchmark SYNC system. As Toyota describes it, “Entune leverages the customer’s mobile phone to create a rich in-vehicle experience that offers fully integrated and upgradeable entertainment, navigation, and information services.”

Entune offers three key enhancements to Toyota’s in-car telematics – the system uses voice recognition to access features and content, introduces Toyota owners to plenty of mobile applications and delivers an extra layer of music choices on top of the already available satellite and HD radio. Entune includes a USB port for connecting portable MP3 players as well.

One of the really cool things Entune does is allows in-car access to iheartradio.com, an online radio site that allows users to access to more than 750 radio stations from across the country grouped by programming type (news, classic rock, country etc) or by zip code. So if you’re traveling away from home but still want to listen to your favorite local radio station, iheartradio.com allows you to do that in most cases.

Entune also uses Bing search allowing access to 16 million points of interest. That means an Entune user could search local businesses by simply pressing a button and saying “Grocery Store” out loud. Plus, Entune allows you to make restaurant reservations using Open Table or buy movie tickets via MovieTickets.com. Then, users can be routed to their destination through the car’s navigation system. Toyota Entune delivers customizable real time traffic, fuel prices, weather, stocks and sports too. Access to this content in via Bluetooth enabled Smartphone so you’ll need a data plan for it all to work.

Entune will be available later this year in select Toyota vehicles.

BRIAN MOODY has been an automotive writer and presenter for ore than 10 years. He has contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Fox Business, the Today Show, Speed TV, Edmunds.com and KTLA in Los Angeles. He currently covers the automotive industry and reviews new cars for the nationally syndicated Car Concerns radio show.

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Toyota gets Entune to Compete with Ford's Sync - 2011 Consumer Electronics Show - Autotrader