Photograph — Automobiles Review

Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) has partnered with Vodacom Business and Netstar to launch Toyota Connect. Toyota Connect is a new technology that will equip all newly manufactured Toyota and Lexus model vehicles in the country with telematics technology from September 2019.

It allows users to connect to the vehicle via the MyToyota app which was earlier launched in 2014 and have been upgraded to fit this purpose. It will provide owners with access to a number of Internet-connected services, including music and video streaming, battery health check, vehicle service bookings, fleet management alerts and driver rating capabilities.

It will offer features such as:

In-car Wi-Fi which comes with 15GB free data that is valid for 12 months and customers can top-up using Toyota Connect or their banking apps.

The Service Booking reminds customers when their vehicles are due for servicing, factoring in all the back-end elements when you book directly on the App.

The logbook facility automatically saves a digital log of the vehicle’s mileage and service history for tax-submission purposes, including auto-allocation for work and home, as well as business and personal trips.

Also, the GPS locator enables owners to find their vehicles easily and get a view of their trips.

Lastly, under safety, there is roadside assistance with impact detection. This means that customers will have real-time support with AA-access for 24/7. The Battery Health Check reflects the real-time status of the customer vehicle’s battery health.

While the automobile manufacturing company is the only manufacturer in South Africa to offer a mobile app that is fully integrated with both the manufacturer and the dealer systems, it has also become the first organisation to offer the convergence of Wi-Fi and connectivity features in one package across a model range.

Speaking at the launch in Johannesburg, the president and CEO of TSAM, Andrew Kirby, explained that, “As Toyota transitions from being an automotive to a mobility solutions organisation, it has become imperative to collaborate with companies whose visions align with ours. The importance of telematics and telecommunications in tomorrow’s vehicles cannot be overstated – hence our partnership with global technology group Altron and telecoms giant Vodacom in this project.”

Also commenting on the partnership, the Chief Officer at Vodacom Business, William Mzimba said, “This partnership is a key part of Vodacom’s IoT strategy, and is a step closer to realising our ambition to create opportunities for innovation in South Africa as well as the broader continent, bolstered by growth in IoT. Just like smartphones, cars today will need to be connected to provide a dynamic user experience.”

Story by Ishola Tobiloba

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