Toyota South Africa Motors has announced all new Toyota- and Lexus-badged vehicles sold in the country from the start of September 2019 will feature in-car Wi-Fi and new connectivity features.

Falling under the Toyota Connect banner, the new “connectivity hub” will be housed within the MyToyota App, which was launched back in 2014.

Toyota claims to be the only manufacturer in South Africa to offer a mobile app that is "fully integrated with manufacturer and dealer systems", and says it will now also be the first organisation in the world to offer the “convergence of Wi-Fi and connectivity features in one package” across its model range.

“As of 1 September 2019, all new Toyota and Lexus models sold in South Africa will come standard with in-car Wi-Fi, including 15GB free data [which you can top up] as well as a host of connectivity features and benefits courtesy of Toyota Connect, a major extension of the MyToyota App,” said Andrew Kirby, Toyota SA president and CEO.

“As Toyota transitions from being an automotive to a mobility solutions organisation, it becomes imperative to collaborate with companies whose visions align with ours. The importance of telematics and telecommunications in tomorrow’s vehicles cannot be overstated – hence our partnership with global technology group Altron [through Netstar] and telecoms giant Vodacom in this project.

“Consumers are increasingly becoming aware of how connected technologies can enhance their lives and our task as a forward-thinking organisation is to evolve in tandem with market expectations,” Kirby added.

In addition to in-car Wi-Fi shipping standard (note that once the 15GB data is depleted, Toyota says customers can top up using Toyota Connect or their banking apps), the package also includes a “service booking” function that reminds customers when their vehicles are due for servicing (with the ability to book directly on the app).

Furthermore, the “logbook” facility automatically saves a digital log of the vehicle’s mileage and service history for tax-submission purposes, including auto-allocation for work and home, as well as business and personal trips.

Then there’s a “roadside assistance” feature, which includes impact detection and provides access to real-time support from the Automobile Association. The “battery health check”, meanwhile, reflects the real-time status of the vehicle’s battery and the “driver score” feature allows customers to review their driver rating and keep track of their scores and overall driver behaviour.

“This is just the start of an exciting journey. We are thrilled about the imminent addition of benefits such as licence renewal, which will allow Toyota Connect users the ability to renew their vehicle licence disc via the technology and have it delivered to their address of choice,” said Kirby.

“Toyota Connect partners are also working on expanding benefits for fleet and small business owners as well as car rental support. We will share details about these exciting developments in the near future,” he added.