New Toyota Driver’s Companion feature with the Joya virtual assistant leverages Google’s AI to bring interactive, real-time experiences to drivers
PLANO, Texas (July 22, 2021) – Toyota is bringing even more perks to 2021 Sienna owners thanks to the 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. Designed to transform the owner’s manual experience into a digital one, Toyota Driver’s Companion will be offered as a pilot program exclusively on 2021 Sienna models, providing 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 with tasks such as setting up personal driving settings, locating button controls, exploring various features and safety information and many 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 Dialogflow® , the Toyota Driver’s Companion lets Sienna drivers ask personalized questions and provides real-time assistance in the moments that matter. 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.
Toyota called the third-generation Sienna a “swagger wagon,” but the 2021 model takes it to a whole new level. Aiming to redefine the segment, the fourth-generation Toyota Sienna reimagines the minivan to support a wider array of life stages and activities. With a standard hybrid powertrain across all trims and an array of new tech and amenities, the 2021 Toyota Sienna raises the bar for style, safety, comfort, versatility and fuel efficiency in its segment.
Over the years, the Sienna has augmented its excellent outward visibility and sightlines with technology to help see more of what’s behind and around the vehicle. The 2021 model has the latest generation of that tech available:
- Every driver could use a little magic now and then, and the Sienna has it with an available digital rearview mirror. It functions as a standard mirror most of the time. But, if rear-seat passengers or some cargo block the view to the rear, the touch of a switch makes all obstructions disappear, replaced by the camera’s image from behind the vehicle. The digital mirror also integrates a HomeLink ® transceiver to conveniently operate garage doors and other compatible devices.
- The available bird’s eye view camera with perimeter scan is the next-best thing to launching a camera drone to look around the vehicle, but it is a lot easier to use. This tech provides a live, 360-degree view to help the driver see potential obstacles. This is especially critical for seeing children or small animals that might be close to the vehicle. Curb view can help prevent scuffing those beautiful 20-inch wheels.
- The 2021 Sienna Platinum comes standard with a 10-inch color head-up display, controlled with steering wheel switches. The display projects vital information at eye level, such as speed, navigation directions and Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 functions.
2021 Sienna owners can exclusively access Toyota Driver’s Companion by downloading the Toyota App.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) has been a part of the cultural fabric in North America for more than 60 years and is committed to advancing sustainable, next-generation mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands, plus our 1,800 dealerships.
Toyota has created a tremendous value chain and directly employs more than 47,000 in North America. The company has contributed world-class design, engineering and assembly of more than 40 million cars and trucks at our 14 manufacturing plants, 15 including our joint venture in Alabama that begins production in 2021.
Through its Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota highlights the way it partners with community, civic, academic and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We believe that when people are free to move, anything is possible. For more information about Toyota, visit www.toyotanewsroom.com.