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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.