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Toyota Announces New Tech at Consumer Electronics Show

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author photo by Doug DeMuro January 2016
  • Toyota has announced two in-car new technologies
  • One involves the addition of data communication modules to many new Toyota vehicles
  • The other sees the arrival of an open-source app platform shared with Ford

Toyota has made two important technology-related announcements at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The first relates to vehicle data management, while the other is good news for shoppers interested in in-car app technology.

Regarding vehicle data, Toyota has announced it plans to add more Data Communication Modules (DCMs) to its vehicles in the coming years. While Toyota didn't announce the express purpose of the DCMs, the automaker says the units should "improve the quality and security of vehicle-based communications" by transmitting in-car data to a newly created Toyota Big Data Center (TBDC). The TBDC, Toyota says, will "analyze and process data collected," likely for advanced digital mapping or other similar uses.

While many shoppers may be concerned about the potentially invasive use of DCMs, Toyota promises that data will be collected "under high-level information security and privacy controls." The automaker also says an added benefit of the feature is that all Toyota models will now provide emergency notifications as a standard feature, enhancing emergency response in the event of a collision.

Toyota's other news at this year's Consumer Electronics Show relates to in-car app technology. The automaker has announced it's teaming up with Ford to launch Livio's Smart Device Link (SDL) feature, which is designed to standardize in-car app technology across the car industry. The open-source app platform would replace proprietary technology in many of today's models, meaning drivers can bring their apps from vehicle to vehicle, regardless of make and model.

While these items may not be especially exciting to most shoppers, they could have far-reaching implications. Namely, an increase of DCMs in Toyota products could help the automaker roll out autonomous cars sooner, and adding Livio's SDL feature to its vehicles could mean more apps and more infotainment overlap among vehicles.

What it means to you: With the addition of more DCMs and Livio's Smart Device Link feature, Toyota remains near the cutting edge of modern automotive technology.

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Toyota Announces New Tech at Consumer Electronics Show - Autotrader