Toyota Kirloskar Motor has launched a new smartphone based application 'Toyota Connect', which will assist Toyota customers in mobility and ownership needs. The app aims to provide ease of functionality in various fields including navigation, vehicle service reminders and roadside assistance. The app will be available for all Toyota models and will be supported on IOS and Android platforms. Toyota will provide 24*7 call centres that the customers can connect to through the app and receive help relating to navigation. The app will also offer offline 3D maps, along with lane guidance, speed limit display, enlarged view of junctions or intersections and real-time traffic updates while suggesting congestion-free alternative routes. The app will provide timely service reminders, live service updates, online service appointments, simple DIY guides and a facility to pay for the services online. Toyota says that this smartphone application will provide service access to Toyota customers at par with the company's global standards.
It is notable that the consumers in India are slowly but steadily embracing technology in mass-market passenger cars. While some years ago, even using Google Maps was new to most drivers, now navigation assistance apps are more than popular. Then there are brand specific apps. India has already had Honda Connect. Very similar to Toyota Connect, Honda's smartphone based app too provides assistance in mobility and ownership to Honda customers. Mahindra too has a similar system that allows its customers ease of navigation and assistance in vehicle upkeep, however, the system supplied by Bosch is so far not very streamlined.
A bit of trouble with Toyota Connect though is that the application can not be connected to the car's infotainment system, yet. While Honda Connect app uses the display screen in the car, Toyota Connect has so far not been developed to do that and the customer will have to refer to their smartphone to use the app. However, Toyota has assured that the system will be made available on the infotainment screen fitted in the cars soon.
As disturbing as it may sound, but a study found out that customers in India paid more attention to having more tech gadgets in their cars than safety features. While we hope that the scenario changes and safety features come at par on the consumers' list of priorities, the fact remains that technologically advanced cars score bigger on popularity today. And Toyota Connect might just make the present and future customers like their Toyotas that much more.