Toyota and Mazda to share next-gen infotainment platform

We’ll first see the system on the new Camry, followed by additional Mazda and Toyota models over the next few years.

Toyota and Mazda only recently announced their partnership, but the first fruits of their labor will be seen very soon.

Future Mazda and Toyota models will share the same infotainment underpinnings as part of a joint development effort, Nikkei reports. Toyota first developed the Linux-based guts of its new Entune 3.0 infotainment system, but it brought in Mazda for additional streamlining because of a lack of software developers in Japan’s auto industry.

More cars with built-in data and Wi-Fi hotspots? You’re not going to hear me complain.

The system will first reach the public by way of the 2018 Toyota Camry, which is already on sale in the US. It should land in Mazda’s stable when the redesigned Mazda3 debuts in the near future, although that has not been officially confirmed. Nikkei claims other vehicles from these manufacturers will receive the updated platform in stages.

Now, bear in mind this doesn’t refer to the whole infotainment system, this only covers the platform off which it’s built. Mazda’s version will undoubtedly look different, and each company will be responsible for developing the features and applications that will live in each system.

Both systems, though, will be able to make use of Toyota’s new Wi-Fi hotspot, which utilizes a cellular network connection to deliver over-the-air updates and new apps without requiring the owner to provide the connection. Toyota’s hotspot can accommodate up to five devices simultaneously on the 2018 Camry.

While this new infotainment system will be rather flexible thanks to a library of available third-party apps like Slacker or Pandora, it should be noted that the system still does not support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto — or, at least it doesn’t on the 2018 Toyota Camry. Hopefully that will change with other models, but Toyota has a historical aversion to this sort of phone mirroring.

Source: https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/news/toyota-mazda-to-share-next-gen-infotainment-platform/

Aug 30th, 2017