19 October 2009
Toyota Australia has launched an accessory that lets you have your
cake and eat it, too. Or rather that lets you have your satellite
navigation whether you are in the car, or on foot.
Called ‘Follow Me’, Toyota's new system is in essence an
integrated audio and navigation system, which is fully-featured,
and portable too.
The unit is what is called a ‘Double DIN’ size, which means
that it’s the same height as a car radio stacked on top of a CD
player. The Toyota unit has been developed together with one of
the market leaders in satellite navigation, TomTom; and Toyota’s
audio supplier, Fujitsu Ten.
The fascia on the ‘Follow Me’ unit has a small screen on the
left which provides audio information like the radio station ID,
or track information from a CD; below this is a circular scroll
wheel and a series of function buttons. On the right side is the
TomTom navigation screen.
The neat thing about this setup is that it’s possible to remove
the navigation screen from the in-dash unit and use it either to
navigate a walking route; or to fit into another vehicle for use
as a satellite navigation system. This also helps protect the
owner from theft of the screen.
The navigation screen is a standard size 3.5-inch TFT touch-screen
type, and the ‘Follow Me’ system features an iPod connector;
Bluetooth Hands-Free option, and is also USB compatible. The front
of the unit also drops down, to expose the slot to play CDs.
While most fully-integrated navigation systems provided from the
car manufacturers’ options list can cost anywhere from $3000 to
$5000, the Toyota ‘Follow Me’ system is priced at $1496 and
can be fitted by Toyota dealers. The unit will fit most post-2003
Toyota cars and trucks.
This industry-leading accessory is made possible because of the
uniformity of the audio systems which Toyota fits to all its
models, and the fact that it is co-developed with its major audio
system supplier, Fujitsu Ten.
A major benefit of teaming up with TomTom is that the owner can
download software and map updates, or even maps of other countries
so the unit could be used (portably) when driving overseas. Plus,
TomTom offers a huge variety of different voice downloads as an
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