05
February
2014
|
06:30
Europe/Amsterdam

2014 new verso dpl: multimedia

&bull Unique range of affordable, touch-screen multimedia systems with uprated resolution and expanded functionalities

&bull Toyota Touch® 2 with Go combines full map navigation with online services and applications

&bull Toyota Touch® 2 with Go Plus with improved voice recognition and new Wi-Fi connectivity

&bull First mainstream brand to offer Google Street View and Panoramio services

Toyota Touch® 2

Fitted as standard in the 2014 Verso from Active grade, Toyota Touch® 2 is an upgraded version of Toyota's affordable touch-screen multimedia system.

Via a 6.1" full colour touch screen interface, it incorporates AM/FM radio with an optional DAB/DAB+/DMB-A receiver, a CD/MP3 player, Bluetooth mobile phone connectivity with a music streaming facility, and a USB port for the connection of portable music players, with the facility to display iPod album cover art.

A rear view camera is fitted as standard, helping drivers to manoeuvre in confined spaces.

The enhanced Toyota Touch® 2 system features redesigned screens with a deeper, 3D effect. Image resolution has been increased by a factor of four from 400 x 240 to 800 x 480, giving a much brighter, sharper image.

The screen menu has been expanded to incorporate more vehicle information content, such as air-conditioning settings, and the screen now supports 'drag and flick' control for easy, intuitive operation.

Toyota Touch® 2 is 'MirrorLink'-ready, which enables users to connect compatible smartphones and then operate them entirely from the system's touch screen.

The optional DAB radio has now been fully integrated, and incorporates an 'FM Link' facility which automatically switches to the corresponding FM station should the DAB signal fail.

Toyota Touch® 2 with Go

The Toyota Touch® 2 with Go offers customers an enhanced, full map navigation system which represents the best value for money on the market. The system was developed specifically with European customers in mind.

Available in 20 languages, it includes all the most popular navigation functions, such as customisable speed limits, speed camera warnings, automatic zoom, motorway signposting and junction view at motorway intersections. The map zoom function is now more easily controlled by a simple rotary button.

Advanced traffic coverage, now located on the map itself, takes the form of a 'traffic bar' showing the driver any congestion ahead, and what delay to expect.

Via the Toyota Online function, the system offers on-board connectivity to an expanded range of services including Toyota Real Time Traffic powered by TomTom, Google Street View, Panoramio and Google Local Search —the largest and most up-to-date search database in the world.

Toyota's improved customer portal also allows users to be in contact with their vehicles online. For instance, via Google Maps, destinations may be input remotely from home or office, and Points of Interest (POI) may be downloaded for entry as destinations.

Further system access to Toyota Online content includes a Touch 2 with Go Apps function which offers several applications, including fuel prices, weather and parking space information.

The installation of Touch 2 with Go also upgrades the multimedia base unit to incorporate a contact person image display.

Toyota Touch® 2 with Go has been designed specifically to be both affordable and flexible. The system can be easily upgraded with the newest functions, updated maps and the latest Apps, as they become available.

Toyota Touch® 2 with Go Plus

When upgraded to Touch 2 with Go Plus, the touch-screen multimedia system comes equipped with 3D city models, landmark graphics and a 'text-to-speech' message readout facility.

The system will display emails and calendars depending on Bluetooth mobile phone compatibility. It also features a 'Play More like This' function. This smart music recognition system can automatically provide playlist recommendations to suit your mood a safe and easy way to manage music on the move.

Touch 2 with Go Plus supports Wi-Fi connectivity. Users set up their smartphones as a Wi-Fi hotspot for connection to the system's online functions.

With the number of languages now increased to 15, the Advanced Voice Recognition function has been designed for the simplest possible operation whilst driving. Focusing on three key tasks, it allows the driver to input a full destination, make a phone call, or to pick a specific song from a connected iPod with a single voice command.

Toyota Touch® 2 With Go Plus includes three years free map and software updating.

Interview

Sigi Killemaes, Manager Multimedia Systems and Telematics at Toyota's RandD centre in Belgium, discusses the philosophy behind the Toyota Touch® 2 concept, and the integration of premium features at an affordable price.

What is the philosophy behind the Toyota Touch® 2 multimedia systems?

The concept is built around what we call affordable innovation. We wanted to offer the features and functions of premium systems at an accessible price, so that as many customers as possible can benefit. Furthermore, we wanted a much closer integration of Toyota Touch® 2 with the car, expanding its use to display many vehicle functions.

We've kept the system cost down because we don't integrate a communication module imbedded in the car. Instead we use the customer's mobile phone as a sort of modem to connect to the internet. This also avoids the need for a second data-subscription.

Previously we were a little concerned at using the phone as a connection device, but actually it works pretty well. If you have to connect your Bluetooth for your hands-free and music anyway, it simply becomes part of the same process.

And we've really simplified the process of going on-line with this next generation system too. We have wireless connection, so you simply set up your phone as a Wi-Fi hot spot and then log into that via the car.

What is new on Toyota Touch® 2?

First, we wanted to increase the quality of the screen to give a much sharper and brighter image.

All the menu screens have been redesigned as well, with the help of ED2. We felt the need to involve them because on-board multimedia systems are becoming increasingly important to customers, and we value their design direction on such a significant piece of equipment.

The screens now have a much deeper, 3D effect and feature a 'boat floor' motif running through the designs, which helps to give visual consistency between the different screens.

We also have a new range of connected services, using partners who are leaders in their respective areas, such as TomTom for traffic services and Google for search related functions. And, provided they have a compatible phone, users can use MirrorLink to replicate their smartphone display on the vehicle screen, and even operate their phone from there.

What is Toyota Online?

With the Toyota Online function of Toyota Touch® 2 with Go and Toyota Touch® 2 with Go Plus, you have access to a number of online services which provide the driver with peace of mind.

Via TomTom HD Traffic you receive real-time traffic updates about any incidents or congestion along your route, and, if necessary, the system provides detour options.

Online Local Search is an additional POI database enhanced by an online search function. So it allows you to find any type of place of interest more easily via Google and TomTom places.

You can also activate apps to keep you informed on available parking spaces, fuel costs and the weather forecast. We also offer a Twitter app and 'Glass of Water', which is sort of a game to encourage more economical driving in a fun but non-distracting way.

Last, but certainly not least, Toyota is the first mainstream brand to offer Google Street View and Panoramio services.

Google Street View is very helpful for familiarising yourself with your destination before you arrive. You can see what the surrounding area is like, and even where you might park the car.

And Panoramio goes one step further. It provides user-uploaded images of city landmarks and places of interest. So if you're on holiday with the car, you can check on the map for any POI, view a full image of it and then let the navigation system guide you there.

Do the Toyota Touch® 2 systems use Google Maps?

No, because that runs online and to use it you have to be connected all the time… For cross border travel, your 3G bill would become astronomical!

That's why we use a hard drive system, which also has the benefit of being able to be very much more tailored for the car, and won't desert you if you drive through a tunnel... The only thing you need connectivity for is traffic information, and that doesn't even have to be 3G.

How do you ensure that your customers can cope with the growing complexity of HMI systems?

With the increase of functions, having a clear and easy-to-use HMI (Human-Machine Interface) is paramount. So in the development of the Toyota Touch® 2 range, a lot of our time and effort has gone into that.

For example, we have increased the number of languages for the voice recognition system, which we have otherwise kept as simple as possible. Many systems incorporate things you can do much more quickly with the buttons. Our philosophy is different: we've focused on three key commands. No matter what menu you're in, you can set a navigation destination, play any music track from your iPod or phone, and dial any number or ask for any contact by name, in just one sentence. This also improves road safety.

The Toyota Touch® 2 systems have been designed to be as user-friendly as possible in many other ways too. For instance, if you type in a destination address, the system will react to the very first letter with a background suggestion, starting with the largest cities first.

We've also improved our customer portal on http://my.toyota.eu. Users can now manage their subscriptions and map updates on the website more easily. It even allows you to be in contact with your car online.

For example, if you're researching a destination on Google Maps, you can simply right click and send it directly to your car's navigation system. That's extremely convenient.

Can older systems be upgraded to the latest software?

To a certain extent, yes. You can update maps every 6 months, and if there are software developments we also provide updates. You just download the latest version to a USB-stick and then plug that into the car to update the Toyota Touch® 2 software.

Over the lifetime of the first generation system we introduced new features, apps and software for customers to install. We offer support for each system for at least 10 years, so if you buy a second hand car you can still make upgrades that the previous owner did not.

And, of course, we'll be doing the same thing for this new system.