New Toyota Telematics System to use SmartDeviceLink

The next-generation Toyota telematics system will implement SmartDeviceLink (SDL). SDL is a platform for smartphone apps and car connectivity that makes it easier for customers to use to apps in their car whether through voice recognition or through the touchscreen panel.

At the 2016 CES conference in Las Vegas, Toyota demonstrated how SDL integration would work in a future telematics system.

Toyota and Ford have already committed to using this platform in the future and hope it becomes an industry-wide standard. If this happens, app developers will be able to quickly make apps that would compatible across the industry, meaning more apps in less time.

Shigeki Terashi, Executive Vice President of Toyota Motor Corporation, said, in a statement, “Developing a safer and more secure in-car smartphone connectivity service which better matches individual vehicle features is exactly the value and advantage an automaker can offer customers. We expect that many companies share our view and will participate in the industry SDL collaboration.”

Toyota has been testing the SDL platform since 2011 and found it to be the best option for a new telematics system. Toyota hasn’t said when SDL will first be incorporated into a production vehicle.

How to Drive through Snowy Weather

Here in northern Illinois, winter can be a pretty unforgiving time, especially if you need to do any driving. Here are a few tips on how to drive through snowy weather to help get you through this long, cold season.

  • Get snow tires. Snow tires are specifically designed to cut through snow and slush and give your wheels more traction. If you do make the switch, make sure you swap out all four tires.
  • AWD does not equal invincibility. Just because your vehicle has all-wheel or four-wheel-drive, that does not mean your car can tackle any road condition. It may help you start moving and stay moving through snow, but when it comes to stopping power, it won’t help you at all. Continue to drive cautiously even with the added traction.
  • Stay home. When the roughest winter weather hits, stay home if you can. If you head out anyway and skid off the road you will, at the very least, be late; but things could end up being much worse.
  • Practice. If you find yourself driving through heavy winter conditions year after year, find a way to practice your driving skills. Head to a large empty parking lot that and drive no faster than 25 mph to feel how your car reacts to a skid and practice controlling it. Or, you can spend some money on a professional driving school to learn some real skills.

Do you have any winter driving tips to share?