The Lexus HS 250h will be the first vehicle to offer Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), USA, Inc.’s all-new telematics systems. Lexus EnformTM with Safety ConnectTM will be available on the dedicated luxury hybrid sedan when it goes on sale late this summer.
“We are proud to introduce these services and advance our relationships with our Lexus customers by providing them the features they need to feel safer and more secure while on the road,” said Jon Bucci, TMS vice president, Advanced Technology Department.
Available by subscription and offered on navigation-equipped HS vehicles, Lexus Enform with Safety Connect is a service built on the foundation of valuable safety and security services with the added layer of more convenience-oriented features and specialized advanced technologies. Safety Connect services will be available separate of Lexus Enform on all non-navigation HS sedans, also by subscription.
Safety Connect: A Secure Foundation
Safety Connect serves as the cornerstone of the HS 250h’s new telematics offerings and will provide fundamental safety and security services to help extend confidence to HS drivers on the road.
“While a portion of the industry appears to be migrating to reliance upon wireless handheld devices to deliver in-vehicle safety, we’ve followed our engineering insights and Toyota’s G-Book and G-Link roots in Japan,” said Bucci. “Based on our experience and research, our core safety and security technology is embedded in the vehicle to help ensure reliability and responsiveness.”
Safety Connect will include the following four safety and security facets:
Automatic Collision Notification (ACN)
Safety Connect’s ACN will help drivers receive the necessary response from emergency teams. In the event of severe collision, the response center will be automatically notified via embedded cellular technology and GPS. Once the response-center agent receives the vehicle ID and the vehicle’s location, the agent can speak with the driver to ascertain the level of emergency. If the driver is unable to communicate, the agent automatically treats the call as an emergency. The response center agent then uses the vehicle’s GPS location to determine the nearest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) available to provide emergency support and will offer to stay on the line until emergency assistance arrives.
Stolen Vehicle Location (SVL)
Safety Connect subscribers will be able to rely on an extra level of security in the event that their vehicle is stolen. If this should happen, Safety Connect will assist in tracking the location of the stolen vehicle using the vehicle’s GPS. Once a police report has been filed and the owner contacts the Safety Connect call center to report the theft, call center agents will assist local authorities to help recover the vehicle—keeping the owner apprised of the progress.
Emergency Assistance Button (SOS)
All Safety Connect–enabled vehicles will come equipped with an SOS button, with the call center's 24-hour emergency assistance only a press away. When an emergency situation develops, subscribed customers will be able to quickly reach the Safety Connect response center to communicate their emergency. Again using embedded cellular and GPS technology, the agent will assess the situation and dispatch the necessary assistance based on the type of emergency.
When a driver encounters problems on the road, the Safety Connect response center will be available for roadside assistance 24 hours a day via the SOS button. Call center agents will help drivers receive aid for a wide range of needs, such as towing, jump start, flat tire, fuel delivery, etc. With this service, drivers will not need to rely on additional membership organizations for roadside coverage to help them get back on the road.
All Safety Connect calls will be sent directly to Toyota’s dedicated, specialized telematics response center operated by ATX Group, a leading provider of global automotive telematics services for over a decade.
Lexus Enform: Pinnacle of Convenience
Lexus Enform services will provide a new level of care to HS drivers, with a diverse assortment of offerings ranging from operator-assisted destination entry to up-to-the-minute weather reports. The cornerstones of Lexus Enform are two convenience-based services: Destination Assist and eDestination. With these features, the HS 250h becomes a virtual information tool—giving drivers the ability to send and receive the data they choose and need along the way. Both services also rest on the solid foundation of Toyota’s dedicated ATX call center.
Live-operator assistance with finding destinations will be just the press of a button away with Destination Assist. While either parked or driving, subscribed HS drivers will be able to easily connect to an operator to ask for help finding local points of interest from dining to gas stations, dry cleaners to museums. As an added bonus to Lexus drivers, Zagat’s best-in-breed restaurant content will also be available via Destination Assist.
Destination Assist operators will help steer drivers to the nearest or preferred destination, locating either the specific business or address requested or offering nearby choices for, for example, a specific type of cuisine or nearby business or service. Once the driver tells the operator their choice, the destination is sent wirelessly to the vehicle’s navigation system.
An expedient self-service feature of Lexus Enform is eDestination, which will allow the HS drivers to go online, via the Lexus.com owners’ Web site, to select and organize destinations of their choice and then send them wirelessly to their vehicle. From a personal computer, Lexus Enform-subscribed HS owners will be able to simply log in to their account and search for destinations by one of three options, point of interest (POI) name, category, or address, in Lexus’ POI database—the same nationwide database in the vehicle’s navigation system.
By entering either a city and state or a Zip code with their search option, users will receive a numbered list of relevant choices all called out on a map screen. The user will then simply select the destination of their choice and save it to either an existing or new folder. When finished, the user simply selects “save to vehicle” and their personalized destinations will be available to load into the vehicle’s navigation system upon the next start up. Going hand in hand with the quality Lexus drivers have come to expect and rely upon in Lexus vehicles, Lexus Enform drivers will also have easy online access to Zagat-rated restaurants nationwide via eDestination.
With eDestination, subscribed HS drivers will be able to build a destination library of up to 20 customized folders, with up to 10 destinations per folder—meaning an unprecedented total of 200 personalized destinations being sent to the vehicle. The folder cache will remain online for users to save or update as they see fit. For example, folders with the addresses of friends, family, or favorite local restaurants can be saved and maintained while new folders can be created for specific occasions—a vacation (“Road Trip to Boston”) or business meetings (“LA Biz Travel”)—and updated to meet current plans. With this feature, HS drivers will be able to plan trips easily and in advance, and even update along the way using a personal computer.
Flexible Voice Interface
The HS 250h’s Lexus Enform navigation platform will automatically include the updated voice recognition system currently only available on the MY10 Lexus RX. This new voice recognition system, called voice command, features VoiceBox Technology’s award-winning, patented Conversational Voice Search, and allows drivers more flexible, easier access and control.
Voice command software enhances standard voice recognition and functions as a supplementary layer “on top” of the existing voice recognition system, an application not seen before in the automotive world. Without voice command, users must speak commands in a specific order, e.g., “Phone > Dial by Name > Dial Bob.” Now this same task can be completed simply by saying, “Call Bob at home.” The voice command system also works to control many functions of the audio system, heating and air conditioning, and the navigation system. Commands such as, “Make it cooler,”
“Let’s find XM channel 46,” “Show me Japanese restaurants,” and “I need a gas station along my route” make tasks easier to accomplish, in fewer steps, with more flexible speech, and help allow drivers to focus more on the road ahead. Voice command technology will be standard on all navigation-equipped HS vehicles and will not require a Lexus Enform subscription.
Mobile Audio Casts with Lexus Insider
One thing we know about Lexus drivers is that they appreciate up-to-the-minute information about the world around them. With Lexus Insider, a complimentary service on all Lexus Enform navigation-equipped vehicles, HS drivers will be able to listen to audio broadcasts in their vehicles with the push of a button. A first in the industry, brief “hot topic” audio programmes, hand selected for Lexus customers, will be sent regularly to vehicles and then available in the vehicle for drivers to enjoy whenever they see fit. Automatic notifications of new audio casts will be available, or drivers will be able to select not to receive notifications. Drivers who prefer not to receive the broadcasts will be able to easily opt out of the service.
Lexus Insider topics may include such things as vehicle technology insights, with tips on model-specific Lexus vehicles and their capabilities; updates on Lexus-exclusive regional events; and selections from Lexus magazine lifestyle articles. Additionally, customers will also receive Lexus Insider insights into exclusive destinations appealing to Lexus drivers. As a service available only to Lexus drivers, the audio-cast files can include downloadable points of interest, which can be loaded into the navigation system as destinations.
Because broadcast data transmission to automobiles is necessarily complicated by the unpredictable nature of when, and for how long, vehicles will be powered on, Lexus Insider makes use of innovative technology to optimize delivery. Thus equipped, Lexus Enform vehicles can successfully receive audio casts in spite of disruptions to transmissions—helping to ensure that listeners receive Lexus Insider stories seamlessly and without complications.
XM – Beyond Radio
Also part of Lexus Enform’s navigation-based services set, a variety of innovative XM services will be available, and factory ready, on the HS 250h. Available XM satellite radio programming and its available “Best of SIRIUS” content will be standard equipment on the HS (requires subscription).
Additionally, the HS will feature XM NavTraffic® and XM NavWeatherTM services.
XM NavTraffic informs the driver of current traffic conditions with real-time traffic displays. When traffic problems are detected, in order to avoid them the navigation system alerts the driver so that the route can be adjusted. XM NavWeather will provide near real-time weather conditions as well as spoken and nav-screen forecasts, both based on official National Weather Service data.
Lexus Enform’s navigation platform will also bring to the HS XM® Sports and Stocks, a service included with an XM audio program subscription, which will provide in-car personalized updates on customer-selected sports and stocks, so HS drivers will be able to stay connected to their favorite teams and investment data while on the road. Additionally, many functions of all XM services will be accessible via Lexus Enform’s advanced voice command system, adding a new level of flexibility.
Standard XM satellite radio programming, XM NavTraffic and XM NavWeather services will offer three-month trials, after which subscriptions will be required.
Included one-year trial subscriptions of Safety Connect and Lexus Enform will be offered upon new HS 250h vehicle purchases. Safety Connect and Lexus Enform subscription options and pricing for subsequent years of service will be announced closer to the vehicle’s on-sale date.
Lexus EnformTM with Safety ConnectTM Features
Premium Lexus Enform Services*
Safety Connect Safety and Security Features*
- Destination Assist
- Push-button live-operator assistance with finding destinations—including Zagat-rated restaurants—while either parked or driving, address wirelessly sent to vehicle’s navigation system.
- Online customer destination management; stores and wirelessly sends to vehicle up to 200 destinations, also including Zagat-rated restaurants.
· Automatic Collision Notification
- In the event of severe collision, an automatic notification is sent via embedded cellular technology and GPS, resulting in the dispatch of emergency services.
· Stolen Vehicle Location
- Upon filing of a police report, vehicle tracking assistance is provided via embedded cellular technology and GPS.
· Emergency Assistance Button (SOS)
- Designated 24-hour call center assistance and support available via SOS button in case of emergency.
· Roadside Assistance
Additional Lexus Enform Services
- Available assistance includes: towing, jump start, flat tire replacement, fuel delivery, and miscellaneous minor assistance.
- Voice Command
- Newly advanced, voice-recognition system; includes flexible voice commands such as, “Make it cooler,” “Let’s find XM channel 46,” “Show me Japanese restaurants,” and “I need a gas station along my route.”
- Lexus Insider
- Optional in-vehicle audio broadcasts; potential topics include: vehicle technology insights, updates on Lexus-exclusive regional events, selections from Lexus magazine lifestyle articles, exclusive destinations with downloadable points of interest.
- XM® NavTraffic*
- Live traffic updates & rerouting in 77 US cities
- XM® NavWeather*
- Live weather updates in 150 U.S. cities
- XM® Sports & Stocks*
- Personalized sports teams and stocks updates