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Toyota announces CarPlay, Alexa update for 2018 Camry, Sienna; scraps V2X rollout

by Drew Johnson

The update will be available free of charge.

Toyota has been one of the slowest automakers to adopt third-party infotainment systems in its vehicles, but the company is at least trying to make up for lost ground by announcing a retrofit for its 2018 Camry sedan and Sienna minivan.

Toyota announced on Monday a dealer-installed update that will give owners of 2018 Camry and Sienna models access to Apple CarPlay and Amazon Alexa. Toyota didn't announce pricing, saying only that "there may be a small service charge for the install."

"We are always striving to bring highly desirable services to our vehicles. This new program enables CarPlay and Amazon Alexa on some of our most popular vehicles already on the road.” said Steve Basra, vice president of Connected Technologies for Toyota Motor North America. "It's a great opportunity to surprise and delight our existing customers.”

While Toyota is expanding on the infotainment front, it's cutting back on its V2X technology. Toyota says it is scrapping an initiative that would have seen its vehicles equipped with Dedicated Short-Range Communications (DSRC) technology by 2021. Toyota said it's pulling the plug on DSRC deployment due to a lack of industry and government support.

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