Toyota highlights technology war, shunning the likes of Google and Apple image

Toyota Motor, the largest Japanese automaker and formerly the world’s largest automaker, is going to partner with a lesser-known company instead of technology giants Apple and Google for navigation and smartphone connectivity.

The Japanese carmaker is highlighting the recent complications between automakers and technology companies as both industries are vying for a larger piece of the booming car feature industry. The 2016 Tacoma pickup sold in the US will be the first among many Toyota models to employ the Scout GPS Link from Telenav, a company that helps Android and iPhone users have the same level of in-car connectivity as they would have had using Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto. But the implication of a smaller company also gives Toyota tremendous control over how it wants to configure the system. “This is a solution over which Toyota has full control,” said Niall Berkery, Telenav’s director of automotive business development. “The big aspect for Toyota was the driver-distraction element and making it a safe experience. A lot of customers are using mobile nav in the car today, but many are doing it in an unsafe manner, whipping out the phone and typing while driving.”

Toyota has been among the largest global automakers holding out on Apple and Google’s foray into car connectivity, with the CarPlay and Android Auto systems used by the technology companies to reshape car dashboards into screens that mostly mirror the user’s smartphone. Other peers, such as Volkswagen and General Motors, have been swift in opening the door to the most feared couple in technology but Toyota has said it was still assessing the two in terms of customer-data protection and driver distraction levels.

Via Automotive News Europe