Yesterday Toyota announced that the 2020 Prius Prime would be getting CarPlay. The car will be available this summer.
Owners of Toyota’s Camry and Sienna vehicles will be able to add Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa as part of a retrofit.
Toyota says it will be notifying Camry and Sienna owners and “encouraging them to contact their dealer” about the retrofit; the installation will be done at dealerships. We reached out to Toyota to ask if the retrofit costs anything, and a spokesperson for the brand said there “may be a small service charge” and that dealers will be able to provide more information. Toyota doesn’t say how long it will actually take to complete the installation.
I’m not sure what to make of this yet, but it’s super interesting. The Toyota Research Institute—a research arm of the automaker that dabbles in AI, robotics, autonomous vehicles, and other things—thinks it has a way to use technology from the world of fighter jets to make cars safer, and they’re calling it “Guardian for all.” That’s crazy cool by itself, but TRI says it wants to share it with other automakers. In a crazy-competitive market, that’s unusual, too. That said, it’s not ready for market, and even TRI doesn’t yet have a plan for deploying it. Here’s a description from TechCrunch:
The inspiration was modern-day fighter jets, which use a low-level flight control system to translate the intent of the pilot and keep the aircraft stable and tucked neatly inside a specific safety envelope. TRI calls it blended envelope control, an approach that lets its “Guardian” driver assist system combine and coordinate the skills of the human driver and the vehicle they’re driving.
The CarPlay systems will have a wired connection, so you’ll have to connect your iPhone via USB.