New system used “Hey Toyota” and “Hey Lexus” voice commands
Larger screens and better navigation promised
Will be offered across the lineup starting with 2022 Toyota Tundra and 2022 Lexus NX
Toyota does a lot of things well, but the infotainment system isn’t one of them. Depending on whether you were in a Toyota or a Lexus, the multimedia interface was either bland, too small, didn’t offer enough functionality or way too complicated to operate. Usually, it was all of the above.
That will change now with the introduction of the latest generation of Toyota connected services across the Toyota and Lexus lineups. The new systems will be introduced first in the 2022 Lexus NX and 2022 Toyota Tundra.
The changes centre around what we have seen before, notably at Mercedes-Benz with MBUX, BMW, and a host of other automakers. That said, in mainstream cars, this is something fairly new. In other words, Lexus is catching up to its competition with the new multimedia system, while Toyota is jumping ahead of its rivals.
Advanced Voice Interaction
The new-generation infotainment system uses advanced voice commands to control various functions of the vehicle. In a Toyota, the user will say “Hey, Toyota” to be connected to the system while Lexus users will go with “Hey, Lexus”.
From there, you can use natural voice commands to adjust climate controls, enter navigation coordinates or even turn on the wipers. For example, you could ask the system to turn on the A/C by going “Hey, Toyota, it’s hot in here”. If you want a specific restaurant, just ask the system for it.
Now, of course, this is on paper. We were there when Mercedes-Benz introduced MBUX nearly four years ago and we still have trouble interacting with the system. Same for BMW, same for Audi. Still, it’s a nifty feature that when it does work is actually useful.
Larger Centre Display
Other improvements include a larger centre display, for example the 14-inch available screen in the upcoming 2022 Toyota Tundra and Lexus NX. These new generations of their respective models will be the first to feature the new connected services. Larger screens mean better graphics and a nicer display, but it also means larger buttons for easier use.
The navigation system will be improved as well according to Toyota. The new multimedia technology is all cloud-based, offering more precision and details in the navigation system and over-the-air updates. Will it be powerful enough to get people off Waze or Google Maps? Probably not, but you can still use those as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.
Use Your Phone as a Key
Finally, you can use your mobile phone as a key. This offers a range of opportunities including deciding remotely if someone else can enter and drive your vehicle. Toyota says it has taken large strides to preserve safety and prevent hacking.
The new infotainment system and connected services will launch in the new Tundra and NX before spreading out across the Lexus and Toyota lineups.