LAS VEGAS (January 8, 2009) – Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc. – In conjunction with its announcement yesterday of its all-new telematics systems, Safety Connect and Lexus Enform, Toyota announced today its multiple strategic partnerships in support of the new systems.
“Our selective partnerships are the cornerstone of our success in the launch of our proprietary telematics services,” said Jon Bucci, TMS vice president, Advanced Technology Department. “We are very proud—and entirely confident—in the business relationships we have forged in the development of Safety Connect and Lexus Enform, and know that we’re working with the best in the field.”
ATX: A Telematics Industry Leader
A key collaborator in Toyota’s telematics efforts is ATX, a leading provider of telematics services to global automobile manufacturers.
“Toyota is a company that strives to provide the best quality possible to its customers and believes in doing things right from the start. This philosophy is the foundation of our partnership,” said Steve Millstein, president of ATX Group. “ATX has been associated with a number of industry ‘firsts’ and ‘bests,’ we foresee that our partnership with Toyota will make us even better.”
All Safety Connect and Lexus Enform calls—for automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location, emergency assistance, roadside assistance and directions requests—will be sent directly to Toyota’s dedicated ATX call center.
“ATX brings over a decade of experience launching a variety of successful telematics platforms,” said Bucci. “Their passion for telematics resonates in both their willingness to meet and address our specific business needs as well as their dedication to meeting Toyota’s high standards for personalized, customer care.”
VoiceBox’s Flexible Voice Interface—An Automotive First
On the Lexus Enform side, Toyota has partnered with VoiceBox® Technologies Inc., to provide one of the most functional—and sure to be favorite—systems in the new platform. VoiceBox is the award-winning innovator of conversational voice search applications.
"VoiceBox’s applications represent a true advancement over traditional speech applications available today,” said Mike Kennewick, CEO of VoiceBox. “Toyota is leading the initiative to develop and deliver advanced voice applications for their customers, and we’re happy to help and support their market-leading vision as we begin to deploy VoiceBox to help offer the most satisfying experience to drivers.”
Lexus Enform vehicles will feature VoiceBox software as an enhancement to the standard voice recognition—an application not seen before in the automotive world. This innovative voice command system works to control many functions of the audio system, HVAC, and the navigation system as well as Bluetooth® calls, all easier to accomplish—in fewer steps, with more flexible speech—allowing drivers to focus more on the road ahead.
“Driver distraction is an issue that deeply concerns Toyota,” said Jim Pisz, TMS corporate manager, Advanced Technology Department. “Our ongoing goal—and aim in our partnership with VoiceBox Technologies—is to help enable drivers to safely and reliably communicate and retrieve information while on the road.”
XM: Reaching Beyond Radio
“With the launch of our new telematics systems, we are excited to see our long-standing partnership with XM to launch into new terrain,” said Pisz.
In addition to XM’s ongoing satellite radio offerings, including the now available “The Best of SIRIUS,” Toyota’s XM services are now expanding to include XM NavTraffic® on more Lexus and Toyota models, as well as XMNavWeatherTM and XM® Sports and Stocks on most Lexus models. Also of note, XM has provided Toyota with proprietary bandwidth for the broadcast of Lexus Insider audio casts.
“These expanded XM services on Toyota and Lexus vehicles only further solidifyour substantive relationship with TMS,” said Steve Cook, group vice president automotive, SIRIUS XM Radio. “We look forward to continuing our efforts and providing Toyota and Lexus drivers the services they want and need on the road.”
Zagat: On-Road Access to Best-Selling Restaurant Guides
TMS has collaborated with Zagat to enhance and improve the Lexus ownership experience by utilizing Zagat’s best-in-breed content within the navigation system.
“When looking for points of interest that would resonate with our discerning Lexus drivers, there was no better choice than Zagat,” said Bucci. “The Zagat name goes hand-in-hand with the quality our drivers have come to expect and rely upon in their Lexus vehicles.”
With the Lexus Enform navigation platforms’ Destination Assist and eDestination features, drivers now have easy access to Zagat-rated restaurants nationwide.
“We see our collaboration with Toyota as a perfect fit, providing Lexus owners with integrated Zagat content which will help them make better, more informed dining decisions while on the road,” said Tim Zagat, CEO of Zagat Survey.
Safety Connect and Lexus Enform will be delivered as embedded, factory-installed hardware on select vehicles with an included one-year trial subscription beginning in late summer 2009. More details on product roll-out will be announced closer to launch.
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