DALLAS -- With this summer's launch of the 2018 Camry, which made its Canadian debut at the Toronto auto show Feb 16, Toyota is rolling out an upgraded infotainment system with features such as dynamic traffic information and high-speed wireless Internet connections. But what really makes the system stand out from the rest of the industry is that it still doesn't accommodate Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Toyota remains the only major global automaker with no plans to incorporate the smartphone integration interfaces from Apple and Google into its infotainment systems.
Toyota says its recently upgraded Entune 3.0 infotainment and app suite is a better alternative for the brand and replicates many of the features and applications in the Apple and Google products, but with better integration. Its Lexus marque uses a version called Enform.
"It's our job as an auto manufacturer to have an engaging user experience, whether it's how the car feels when you're behind the wheel or how to use the centre stack and engage with smartphone applications," said Sandy Lobenstein, vice president of connected strategy for Toyota Motor North America.
"Yes, there's risk," Lobenstein conceded.
It's not entirely unusual for Toyota to march to the beat of a different drummer, as it has done with hybrids and hydrogen fuel cells. But some analysts say Toyota may be marching in the opposite direction of consumers by turning its back on CarPlay and Android Auto, which transmit apps and imagery from a driver's smartphone onto a vehicle's touchscreen.