Johannesburg — TOYOTA Motors South Africa (TMSA) is to drive what is possibly Africa's first connected vehicles following a partnership with Vodacom and Altron Netstar.
As of September 1, all new Toyota and Lexus models sold in South Africa will come standard with in-car Wi-Fi including 15GB free data as well as a host of connectivity features and benefits courtesy of Toyota Connect.
It is a major extension of the MyToyota App.
Andrew Kirby, TSAM President and Chief Executive Officer, said as Toyota transitioned from being an automotive to a mobility-solutions organisation, it became imperative to collaborate with companies whose visions align with their.
He said the importance of telematics and telecommunications in tomorrow's vehicles could not be overstated, hence the partnership with Altron, Netstar, and Vodacom.
"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 said.
The partnership aligns with Vodacom's goal to become the leading Internet of Things (IoT) solutions partner.
Vodacom will provide Toyota vehicles with in-vehicle Wi-Fi and telematics connectivity, enabling seamless communication between vehicle owners and vehicles.
"This partnership is a key part of Vodacom's IoT strategy, and is a step closer to realising our ambition to create opportunities for innovation in South Africa as well as the broader continent, bolstered by growth in IoT," said William Mzimba, Chief Officer at Vodacom Business.
Mteto Nyati, Altron Group Chief Executive, believes the locally-developed technology enables connectivity and offers real-time data to 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," Nyati said.