Toyota announces enhanced connectivity services, and several vehicle updates for 2021

Toyota Canada is looking to bring a new level of excitement, safety and convenience to Canadian drivers with a range of enhancements and updates to its 2021 vehicle lineup and many of the automaker’s connected services.

Steve Andrew, manager, connected vehicle technologies, with Toyota Canada, gave select journalists a preview of some of what Canadians will be seeing this year and into next during a media exclusive digital reveal.

For this year, several updates are rolling out for the company’s Remote Connect and Service Connect services. Remote Connect, a downloadable app for smartphones, will now allow for remote engine start/stop, door lock/unlock, and provide up-to-date information on status of the vehicle’s doors and windows. An added bonus for those who like their tech, Toyota Canada will give drivers the option of using Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to access features of their 2020 and 2021 model year vehicles, including the option to do the same on compatible Smartwatches.

Service Connect is now enhanced to provide vehicle health reports and vehicle maintenance alerts.

Toyota’s Safety Sense technology is also getting an upgrade. Called Toyota Safety Sense 2.5+ the Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection has been enhanced so that “it is now possible to not only detect the vehicle ahead, but also a preceding cyclist in daytime and even a pedestrian in low-light conditions,” Andrew said. “At intersections, it will be able to detect a pedestrian or a vehicle when performing a left-hand turn.”

Cruise control is also getting an upgrade with Full-Speed Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). If one is approaching a vehicle that is traveling slower than the set cruise control speed, when the driver changes lanes the system will provide an initial increase in speed to safely pass the vehicle and then reengage the cruise control to bring the vehicle back to the preset speed.

Enhancements to Toyota’s vehicle technologies is only one part of the company’s plans for its 2021 lineup.

Andrew took time to make several interesting vehicle announcements as well.

The 2021 Avalon Limited will now come with all-wheel drive, and sport a 2.5L, 4-cylinder engine putting out 205 hp. The XSE trim for the Avalon will come with a heated steering wheel and Remote Services will be standard.

The 2021 Camry and Camry Hybrid are getting a mid-cycle polish with updated front facias, headlights and tail lights, and the infotainment screen foregoes the previous in-dash look for the more modern floating table style seen in the new RAV4.

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