Only the "Swagger Wagon" is included in the pilot program.
Cars are becoming more connected than ever and Toyota is launching a new, all-digital owner's manual to help make life easier. The Toyota Sienna minivan, called the "Swagger Van" a decade ago when the previous third-generation model debuted, has been chosen for the pilot program of the Toyota Driver's Companion, an app-based system with a voice-activated virtual assistant called Joya.
This is something that could end up replacing the traditional owner's manual stuffed into the glovebox. The system is hosted within the Toyota App and is capable of doing things like arranging personal driving settings, locating control buttons, and helping owners locate specific features and how they're used.
With the help of the built-in Google Cloud Dialogflow, an AI-powered voice-activated system, Sienna owners can ask personalized questions, receive real-time assistance, and utilize interactive enhancements to help better understand dashboard functions. Instructions regarding the use of advanced safety systems like Dynamic Radar Cruise Control and Lane Departure Alert are also available. What's also pretty cool is that this is a truly personalized experience; the system is tuned specifically to the vehicle's VIN. If the check engine light turns on, the Toyota Driver's Companion can help diagnose the problem.
"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, Toyota's general manager of marketing and communications. "Toyota Driver's Companion...will allow Sienna drivers to access information about their vehicles in a seamless way thanks to the technology powered by Google."
Toyota has not confirmed whether the app will be expanded to additional models; the pilot program will determine that. But based on what we know about Toyota Driver's Companion so far, it'd make total sense for the company to do so in the near future. Until then, 2021 Sienna owners can download the app now.