Toyota South Africa has partnered with Vodacom Business and Netstar to equip all new Toyota and Lexus vehicles in South Africa with telematics technology, enabling drivers and passengers access to a WiFi hotspot.
Toyota said that the new tech – under the name Toyota Connect – will be in every new vehicle sold after 1 September 2019.
As part of the deal, new owners will be given a once-off allocation of 15GB of free data upon purchasing a vehicle, which can then be topped-up via the MyToyota app once depleted.
Through its subsidiary, Netstar, Altron jointly designed and developed the bespoke technology platform with Toyota, which enables Internet of Things (IoT) aspects such as telematics and fleet management.
Altron Group chief executive Mteto Nyati said the technology was developed locally, and enables connectivity and gives real-time data to both Toyota and its customers.
“It positions Altron and South Africa as relevant players in the internet of things globally. We are truly excited about this collaboration,” he said.
Once a customer has opted in, the data aggregated from the telematics module will provide insights to Toyota, their dealer network, customers, fleet owners and third-party service providers such as the Automobile Association (AA), providing accident and breakdown assistance.
The Toyota Connect service offers:
- WiFi connectivity
- Live Map
- Logbook & trip playback
- Battery Health Checks
- Driver Behaviour Score
Between seven and 15 devices can connect to the system at once, but the WiFi functionality will not work outside South Africa.
Data can be topped through various banking apps that sell Vodacom data. Airtime can be used, however it will be charged at out-of-bundle rates, Toyota said.
If owners don’t want to use the service, they can choose not to opt-in, but the actual devices cannot be removed, the group said.