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Toyota Unveils Voice-Controlled System

1/06/2011 12:01:00 AM Eastern
LAS VEGAS — Toyota is using International CES to demonstrate voicecontrolled infotainment systems that will compete with Ford’s Sync system.

The automaker plans to demonstrate its Entune Infotainment System here at CES and will make it available in select vehicles later this year.

The system connects via USB to portable media players and iPhones to play stored music and charge the devices. The system uses Bluetooth to connect to cellular smartphones to control multiple apps loaded onto the phones, including Internet radio apps.

The system will be compatible with a majority of smartphones and feature phones, the company said. Entuneenabled versions of apps will be available for the iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry smartphones as well as for select feature phones.

Entune, which marks Toyota’s entry into the HD Radio market, also features HD Radio iTunes tagging, an optional navigation system, XM satellite radio, and customizable real-time traffic, fuel prices, weather, stocks, sports, and news. The data is delivered primarily by XM for head units with factory-installed navigation, but some vehicle models will deliver such data via Bluetooth-connected cellphone.

All features will eventually be controlled from a conversational voicerecognition system said to eliminate the need to memorize thousands of voice commands, allow drivers to speak naturally, and let motorists focus more on their driving.
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