Expect this to be a trend of the future.
Toyota is going digital with the Sienna minivan's owner manual via an all-new Toyota Driver’s Companion feature in the Toyota App. Powered by Google Cloud, the app-based feature includes a voice-activated virtual assistant – Joya. Right now, Toyota Driver’s Companion will be offered as a pilot program exclusively on 2021 Sienna models. Toyota says the app provides new drivers with an interactive tool that guides them through the right vehicle information at the right time.
“Our Sienna customers lead multi-faceted lives, which is why we are constantly looking for ways to simplify even the most basic tasks. We understand that even trying to determine what ‘that button’ does can be a daunting question to answer during a busy week,” said Joe Moses, general manager, Toyota Vehicle Marketing and Communications. “Toyota Driver’s Companion, offered exclusively on the all-new 2021 Sienna, will allow Sienna drivers to access information about their vehicles in a seamless way thanks to the technology powered by Google.”
Hosted within the Toyota App through Toyota’s Connected Services, the Toyota Driver’s Companion helps drivers do things like set up personal driving settings, locate button controls, explore various features and safety info and other tasks.
“Toyota Driver’s Companion highlights how cloud computing can support interactive, engaging consumer experiences in a natural, accessible format—voice,” said Dominik Wee, Google Manufacturing and Industrial managing director. “By elevating and personalizing the car manual through the power of cloud, our goal is to help foster more thoughtful interactions between Toyota and Sienna drivers, such as responding to real-time inquiries.”
Built with Google Cloud Dialoguflow the Toyota Driver’s Companion, drivers will be able to ask personalized questions and get real-time assistance. The artificial intelligence-powered, voice-activated feature also has interactive enhancements such as exploring the vehicle’s dashboard, providing instructions on interior and exterior car details and educating drivers about Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, Lane Departure Alert and other safety features.
Key Google-powered highlights include:
- An easily accessible virtual voice within the Toyota Driver’s Companion lets drivers ask personal questions about their specific Sienna—such as, “What’s the height of my car?”— and receive immediate answers via voice, display and interactive input.
- A completely personalized experience, curated for the driver automatically using the vehicle’s VIN number. For example, if the check engine light is on, the Toyota Driver’s Companion can help identify the light meaning.
- Interactive hotspots throughout the vehicle’s interior over the dashboard allow drivers to explore the cabin virtually. Drivers can discover button functionalities, find specific dials and learn more about car functions, such as how to slide seats or open doors, to become acclimated with their new vehicle.
The fourth-generation Toyota Sienna features a standard hybrid powertrain across all trims. The 2021 model has the latest generation of Toyota tech available that includes:
- An available digital rearview mirror that integrates a HomeLink ® transceiver to conveniently operate garage doors and other compatible devices.
- An available bird’s eye view camera with perimeter scan.
- The 2021 Sienna Platinum comes standard with a 10-inch color head-up display, controlled with steering wheel switches.
2021 Sienna owners can exclusively access Toyota Driver’s Companion by downloading the Toyota App.
You can check out our review of the new 2021 Toyota Sienna here.