Finding vegan restaurants just got easier thanks to Toyota.
More people than ever are removing animal products from their diet and becoming vegan, but it's not always easy to find restaurants that offer vegan options on car navigation systems. In response to the rise in popularity of veganism, Toyota has partnered with HappyCow, an online platform that helps people find vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the US.
HappyCow's restaurant guide will be integrated into the manufacturer's Destination Assist feature on select 2020 and newer Toyota and Lexus models such as the 2021 Toyota RAV4 and 2021 Lexus LX to help locate the nearest vegan or vegetarian diner. Here's how the system works.
Owners of Toyota and Lexus models equipped with the Destination Assist simply press the "Destination" button on the navigation menu. Once connected to a live representative, the user will need to mention they're looking for a vegan or vegetarian restaurant. HappyCow will then direct the driver to suitable nearby restaurants that serve vegan or vegetarian food. The service can either find the nearest restaurant or search for preferred cuisines and then remotely send the destination to the car's navigation system.
Toyota is offering free trials of Destination Assist for the first year of a new purchase or lease. New Lexus models include a longer three-year free trial of the service.
"We are excited about being part of Toyota Connected's Destination Assist, which allows owners of select 2020 Toyota/Lexus models to speak to live representatives who have been trained to use HappyCow," said Ken Spector, HappyCow Principal. "[This] helps users to navigate to vegan food restaurants and other vegan options throughout the US."
HappyCow will be available to nearly two million drivers in the US. Currently, Toyota and Lexus are only offering the service to US customers, but HappyCow is considering expanding it to global markets in the future.