Amazon’s Alexa Joins the Toyota Team

Toyota announces a new partnership with Amazon’s Alexa service.

January 12, 2018

Toyota announces a new partnership with Amazon, introducing Amazon’s Alexa in Toyota vehicles later this year.

As consumers outfit their homes with “smart” devices at an increasing rate, tech companies ask “where else?” can they implement such technology. The answer? The car.

In a statement made from CES this week, Toyota announced a partnership with Alexa, Amazon’s intelligent cloud-based voice service. Toyota’s with Entune 3.0 App will be the first to host Alexa later this year, followed by additional models in 2019. Toyota’s move is a clear sign that they’re shedding their bland image and gearing up for an innovative and exciting future. 

What is Amazon’s Alexa service?

Per Amazon: Using Alexa is as simple as asking a question. Just ask to play music, read the news, control your smart home, tell and joke and much more! Alexa is designed to make your life easier by letting you voice-control your world. Alexa lives in the cloud so it’s always getting smarter, and updates are delivered automatically. The more you talk to Alexa, the more it adapts to your speech patterns, vocabulary, and personal preferences. 

What Does Alexa’s Addition to Toyota’s Mean for Me?

If you have an Amazon smart device at home that uses Alexa, you’ll be able to utilize those functions you love most from the comfort of your Toyota. Simply say, “Alexa, order me more toilet paper” or “Alexa, read me the news” and Alexa will seamlessly carry out those functions while you sit in rush hour traffic. If you don’t have a device that uses Alexa and you don’t plan on getting one–no worries–this news doesn’t affect you. You probably won’t even notice the button on the vehicle’s startup menu.

Once Toyota releases additional information about Alexa, including specific release dates, I’ll be here to fill you in!

Toyota Unveils the e-Palette

Toyota unveils the e-Palette concept car at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV.

January 9, 2018

Toyota unveils the e-Palette to an excited crowd at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show.

The future of ridesharing is uncertain as the once untouchable king of the game, Uber, continues its public mea culpa tour. As Uber addresses its many woes, automakers look to fill the void. Enter Toyota’s e-Palette concept vehicle.

Toyota took to the main stage at 2018’s Consumer Electronics Show, CES, and unveiled a modern concept that “harnesses the benefits of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, connected network, and electric vehicle technologies to get people where they want to go safely, conveniently and in an environmentally friendly way,” said Toyota’s senior vice president and chief information officer Zack Hicks. While the e-Palette remains in the “concept car” stage of planning, this is a clear indication of the future Toyota wishes to build for the consumer.

Where Did the Scion Brand Go?

In 2016, Toyota decided to bid adieu to the Scion brand, allowing for select vehicles to take the Toyota badge in 2017.  The Scion iA, iM and FR-S have officially joined the Toyota family as the 2017 Yaris iA, Corolla iM and Toyota 86. 

  • Scion iA becomes Toyota Yaris iA
  • Scion iM becomes Toyota Corolla iM
  • Scion FR-S becomes Toyota 86

Flying Car by 2020

Toyota is working overtime to create a flying car by 2020. Toyota is investing resources in the startup, Cartivator, by “chipping in 40 million yen ($353,000) and offering the expertise of its mechanical engineers.”  

According to Engadget: 

Thedrone-like vehicle would soar 10 meters (33 feet) above the ground at speeds up to 100 km/h (62 mph). The “Skydrive” is being developed by Cartivator, a startup with around 30 young volunteers working with drone expert Masafumi Miwa from Tokushima University. The aim is to get the car flying by next year and have it commercialized in time to light the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games torch.

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Autonomous Driving Made Fun

“Our vision for the future is that driving is still fun,” says Ian Cartabiano, studio chief designer at Toyota’s Calty design facility in Southern California.

The 2017 CES Convention is underway in Las Vegas.  Tech nerds from around the world have gathered to explore new trends in applied science industry.  Toyota showed up and blew everyone away with its reveal of an autonomous vehicle.

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