Toyota Announces New Telematics Service G-BOOK ALPHA
Toyota announced today that it has completely renovated its G-BOOK telematics service, which was initiated in October 2002, to create G-BOOK ALPHA. TMC will begin offering the new service on vehicles equipped with G-BOOK ALPHA-compatible navigation systems. G-BOOK ALPHA is a next-generation telematics service that takes safety, security and comfort to the next level. In addition to offering, as standard, the emergency call service known as HELPNET, which can alert the police or fire department to summon emergency vehicles in the event of a traffic accident or medical emergency, G-BOOK ALPHA also employs a car audio system that allows users to make on-the-go purchases of music they want to enjoy?when they want to enjoy it?through the use of G-BOOK ALPHA’s new digital rights management (digital copyright protection) system, called G-DRM.
In addition, the G-BOOK ALPHA DCM, a data communications module recently developed for G-BOOK ALPHA, adopts innovative technology to substantially improve various communications functions, drastically improving data communication speeds and enabling voice communications on par with car phone quality.
Overview of G-BOOK ALPHA’s Key Features
1) HELPNET emergency call service as standard
In the event of a traffic accident or medical emergency, HELPNET service connects users to a dedicated operator through the touch of a button and allows the summoning of an ambulance or other assistance by way of an onboard microphone.
The system automatically transmits the vehicle location, and after confirming the situation, the operator transfers the call to the appropriate police station or fire department, thus ensuring a quick and effective response.
In addition, starting this summer, certain new vehicle models will come standard with a system that automatically connects to an operator if the air bags are activated. Then, if there is no response from inside the vehicle, the operator will assume there is a medical emergency and will immediately call for an ambulance.
Following severe traffic accidents, the time it takes a person to receive medical attention largely determines the chances of survival, and consequently, in addition to the existing measures to improve active safety, pre-crash safety and passive safety, Toyota is actively addressing post-accident measures.
2) New car audio system with G-DRM?a new concept in music distribution
Toyota has become the first in the automobile industry to adopt an on-demand car audio system using the G-DRM built-in digital copyright protection system, which manages copyrighted works encrypted and stored in digital format on a hard drive.
When vehicles are shipped, encrypted data for more than 10,000 musical pieces will be made available on the navigation system’s hard drive. The customer can then download and purchase a license (a key to decrypt) from a network for the musical pieces that he or she wants to listen to.
G-SOUND allows users to listen, free of charge, to up to 40 seconds of each song a maximum of three times. The playlist includes a variety of genres from pop to classical music. The fees will range from 30 yen to 80 yen per piece for a one-day license to 100 yen to 300 yen for an unlimited period. New and updated music data can be added by simply inserting a maintenance CD, which will be distributed periodically free of charge, into the navigation system CD drive.
With AUTOLIVE Karaoke, users can enjoy pre-installed sing-along songs an unlimited number of times for a fee of about 700 yen per month and can easily update their song collection by downloading additional songs from a network.
3) New DCM developed specifically for G-BOOK ALPHA
The new G-BOOK ALPHA DCM uses the third-generation CDMA2000 1x EV-DO communications format to achieve data communications speeds of 2.4 Mbps, 16 times faster than the CDMA2000 1x format of the earlier DCM, for stress-free and convenient data communication.
Furthermore, in the event of an emergency, the new DCM enables voice communications using an onboard microphone and speaker (when using HELPNET). This setup can also be used as a hands-free car phone, depending on plan selection.
The G-BOOK ALPHA service is also equipped with a new “G-Route Search” function that combines traffic information from the Vehicle Information and Communication System (VICS) with past statistical data to forecast road traffic conditions and suggest optimal routes that avoid traffic congestion. Also, the earlier G-BOOK’s popular “My Car Search” theft detection and tracking service will re-debut as “G-Security” on certain new models to be launched this summer, enhanced with new functions such as a cell phone e-mail service to notify owners if they forget to lock the car doors.
Moreover, when using the more than 60 information services that are available on G-BOOK, complex operational procedures have been eliminated through the addition of a service that allows users to make verbal requests to an operator for information searches and data transmissions.
In addition, G-BOOK ALPHA, like its predecessor, offers a cell phone-use service that enables users with a Bluetooth-compatible phone or a Bluetooth adaptor to connect to the navigation system and access all G-BOOK ALPHA services (with the exception of the airbag-linked HELPNET and the theft detection and tracking service).
TMC, which hopes to establish peace of mind and safety as core elements of telematics, positions G-BOOK ALPHA as a way of redefining the automobile in anticipation of the full-scale advent of a 21st century ubiquitous network society.
About Toyota Motor Corporation
Toyota Motor Corporation (TSE: 7203/NYSE: TM) was established in 1937 and is one of the world’s biggest automakers operating worldwide. The company operates a joint venture with General Motors in California. Toyota enjoys a strong 40%-plus domestic market share (excluding minicars). Boasts highly efficient production thru lean production system.