In the never-ending race to turn your car cabin into a smart, mobile entertainment mecca, Toyota on Tuesday unveiled Entune, a system that will integrate mobile apps and music services with in-vehicle controls.
Toyota is working to steal some thunder from Ford’s Sync effort. The grand plan for these automakers—you can expect others to follow—is to use car technology to create app ecosystems. The idea is that you will be able to plug in apps and access the Internet via voice commands.
According to Toyota, Entune will simplify interaction between voice recognition and in-vehicle controls. Users will download the Toyota Entune app, pair it with Bluetooth and access content. Entune will debut with Bing, OpenTable and MovieTickets.com. On the music front, Entune will feature iheartradio and personalized stations via Pandora.
Entune will be available on select models later this year.
Key technology partners include Nuance, which provides the voice recognition software; QNX, the Research in Motion subsidiary that provides the embedded multimedia system; Microsoft and Harman.