Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) is making a bold step in pushing its automobiles towards autonomous vehicle technology by debuting new features that will use cloud and on-board computing.

New hybrid navigation and voice recognition functions that utilize a cloud route calculation engine along with the vehicle’s onboard route calculation engine will debut in all new Toyota models sold by late 2017.

Toyota to roll out new cloud, navi and voice features by the end of 2017

This is all part of the automaker’s ‘connected strategy’ under the Data Communication Module standard settings in order to allow drivers to access the following services:

  • Calculate and present faster routes to destinations
  • Provide a larger selection of possible routes to choose from
  • Offer greater flexibility in searching for destinations
  • Make it easier to use voice command for multimedia systems

By developing the world’s first hybrid navigation function, models with this feature can calculate routes and make location searches by using the database that contains information gathered from other vehicles and external data. The onboard computer will then crunch the data for faster processing or when the vehicle is out of network communication range.

Toyota to roll out new cloud, navi and voice features by the end of 2017

Accessing cloud-based information allows Toyota to deliver the world’s first ‘route expansion’ function using compiled histograms of travel times for each road. This makes it possible to calculate routes precisely for a better estimate of arrival time.

The hybrid voice recognition function is now enhanced with the use of cloud computing. Natural speech is better recognized and response time to voice commands has been shortened. To ensure smooth operation, the hybrid feature allows the function to switch between the cloud and onboard system for better efficiency.