Tokyo: New Toyota cars in Japan will have up-to-date roadmap and traffic information for electronically mapping the quickest routes in an upgrade of network-linking technology now offered mostly in luxury models.
The service, scheduled for rollout next month only for Japan, includes “map on demand,” which constantly updates data about the nation’s roads in navigation equipment through a mobile download, Toyota Motor Corp.
The service, an upgrade of the G-Book services that Toyota started five years ago, will be offered in all new models. The basic service, G-Book mX, uses a cell-phone connection and is free. The driver needs to buy navigation equipment and pay the phone bill.
The more advanced G-Book mX Pro with an on-board data-transmission device, costs $100 a year and has extra features like automatically alerting authorities when an airbag inflates. The first year is complimentary.
In a demonstration to reporters in Tokyo, a new route popped up on the monitor screen, taking into account a just constructed interchange to shave 10 minutes of driving time to a destination.
Besides constantly updating map data, the movements of cars on the roads, monitored by GPS tracking, also gets transmitted to a computer system so traffic congestion information can in turn be relayed to Toyota cars, officials said.
The new service is more accurate than the electronic route-mapping systems now available, they said, because it has access to information collected from thousands of Toyota cars on the road and roadmap information is updated regularly.
All the world’s automakers offer versions of such services called telematics. But they tend to target luxury car owners and aren’t as zealous about delivering the latest updates.
Another feature is a Bluetooth connection for linking the car’s audio system to a cell phone so drivers can listen to tunes downloaded in cell phones on car stereos.
Toyota Executive Vice President Akio Toyoda said a similar service will be offered in China but did not say when. Other overseas plans are still undecided.
People may use other nifty gadgets as pedestrians, but Toyota offers the best technology for drivers