Is this one more step towards “dumb terminals” for low-cost cars?

Toyota's latest edition of the Touch Life is able to use several core features and functions for the iPhone including navigation and hands-free calling, but the Android remains absent, though the absence isn't significant.

10/27/2011


Yesterday saw the official announcement from Toyota of the release of their newest edition to the “Touch” family of infotainment head units, the Toyota Touch Life for the IQ. The unit itself contains only an AM/FM radio, allowing it to cost very little, but, unlike other systems in small low-cost cars this one has a trick up its sleeve.

Through a combination of the Connected Car Consortium’s MirrorLink, and iPhone integration, the unit can allow access to several core features and functions of a user’s cell phone. These include navigation, hands-free calling, and internet radio (depending on platform and country).

So what does this mean to the market? Well, effectively anyone with a Touch Life equipped Toyota IQ will have access to free navigation (on Nokia handsets), and a host of connected services (on iPhones), with the potential for additional apps and services becoming available at a later date. Something that before now has required a costly monthly subscription in Europe and a premium price tag!

The big question, drawing many comments, about this (and Toyota’s previously announced Touch and Go head unit) is the lack of Android compatibility. While this will definitely affect Android owners when they decide whether to opt for this system, I feel it unlikely to be a huge blow to the success of the system. If you consider the sheer number of iPhone and Nokia handset owners and that the MirrorLink protocol will likely be adopted by both HTC and Samsung (both part of the CCC) in the near future, the impact should be limited.

Will we see a host of other auto manufacturers rolling out these kinds of systems across their range? In short, this seems unlikely. Most manufacturers may opt for such a basic system in their very small city cars or low-cost models; but larger, more expensive, models will likely keep hold of some embedded functionality; this can be seen with the latest news from Mercedes and its iPod integration and MirrorLink announcements. This will ensure that when drivers find themselves without their phone, they still have more choice than just the radio to listen to.



The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Doubling down on digital manufacturing; Data driving predictive maintenance; Electric motors and generators; Rewarding operational improvement
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Research team developing Tesla coil designs; Implementing wireless process sensing
Commissioning electrical systems; Designing emergency and standby generator systems; Paralleling switchgear generator systems
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me