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Toyota launches its own free smartphone navigation app: TC Smartphone Navigation

In Japan, Toyota Motor Corporation launched its TC Smartphone Navigation, a new, free smartphone navigation app available from 1 December. Toyota has been providing T-Probe traffic information—Toyota’s proprietary traffic congestion information based on big data collected from vehicles equipped with on-board data communication modules (DCM)—on the paid (¥2,500/US$22 annually) T-Connect smartphone app which suggests routes to avoid traffic congestion.

At the same time, the route history map which helps to support relief activities in the event of a disaster has been made available on Toyota’s website free-of-charge. This feature is also based on information collected from big data, and displays the vehicle’s route history. The route history map is also compatible with smartphones.

The TC Smartphone Navigation app will further improve visibility and operability of the existing navigation function. In addition, the app will display T-Probe traffic information and route history map throughout the driving journey. In order to provide safe and convenient mobility support services to a wide-range of customers, this service will be offered free of charge. The aim is to accumulate customer experience with the daily utilization of these information, where data utilization in the event of a disaster has been enhanced.

In addition, aerial photographs of disaster areas are made available in the route history map display in the case of large-scale disasters with this new application. Next summer, a navigation route search function which will incorporate the route history map will be added to further strengthen disaster countermeasures.

In addition, TC Smartphone Navigation will openly link with various external service providers in the future. As a first step, Toyota will promote linking with services provided by akippa Inc., a parking lot sharing service provider to offer search and reservation services, as well as navigation service to a reserved parking lot. Furthermore, Toyota plans to link with services developed by Park24 Co., Ltd. in the future.

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In addition to displaying Toyota’s proprietary real-time traffic information through T-Probe, the route is guided by easy-to-view maps and easy-to-understand audio, such as enlarged views of intersections, and the reading aloud of the names of intersections
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Link ups with parking lot sharing services. Parking spaces can be reserved from the app. Together with the recent changing environment relating to the usage of vehicles, this is a parking lot sharing service that is being developed for use as a service that allows for the usage at monthly and individual parking lots nationwide.

Using a smartphone, the TC Smartphone Navigation will first start to link with search and reservation services that are provided by akippa Inc. In the future, Toyota will also link up with services that are being developed by Park24 Co., Ltd.

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