The Connected Car: Toyota vs Buick

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by Old Bear, Mar 18, 2020.

  1. Old Bear

    Old Bear Senior Member

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    As an owner of a 2017 Prime, I have made extensive use of the various interactive features accessible from the Entune app on my cellphone. Sadly, I've watched Toyota discontinue a number of features and gradually dumb down the app to the point where many of the most useful features are no longer available on the 2020 Prime.

    I assumed that this was because Toyota reasoned that there wasn't much consumer interest in interacting with your car from your cellphone. Hence, I was amazed to see Buick's recent TV advertising which features the interactive mobile application offered by Buick:


    The range of interactive features supported by Buick Connected Services are describe in this web page. They include remote access features such as: Vehicle Status: Fuel level or efficiency; Tire pressure;• Oil life status (Good, Service soon, Service immediately); Odometer reading; Check for recalls. Remote Commands: Start or stop engine; Lock or unlock vehicle; Sound the vehicle’s horn and flash the vehicle’s lights. Vehicle Locate: Locate your vehicle’s position on a map; Enable specified contacts to view your vehicle’s location; Set and share notifications for arrivals and departures; Set boundary alerts; Set parking reminders. Navigation: Search and send directions from your smartphone to your vehicle’s navigation system; Plot your vehicle’s location on a map.

    Some of these features are integrated into GM's "OnStar" service which is similar to Toyota's "Safety Connect" and requires an additional paid subscription.

    There is also a feature suite which sounds quite similar to the Prime's "ECO Dashboard." It is called "Buick Smart Driver" and provides: "insights into driving habits, including a monthly summary of tips to improve your driving; views of recent trips on a map; access to a quick view of hard braking and acceleration events and distance driven; and, can check eligibility for auto insurance discounts from participating insurance carriers based on good driving habits."

    So, it sounds like Toyota is going one way and GM (Buick) is going another as far as integrating the automobile into one's personal "internet of things."

    And, yes, we still like sheep!
     
  2. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    For Prime, that may be true, but Toyota has enhanced its version of connected services quite bit on other models.

    BTW, my 2017 PRIME Premium had no connectivity telematics, but my 2020 PRIME LE has Safety Connect and WiFi Connect. I declined both services on my car.

    Screenshot 2020-03-18 at 12.58.59 PM.png
     
    #2 Salamander_King, Mar 18, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  3. ems2158

    ems2158 Active Member

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    My 2016 Impala has almost of the connected features the new Buicks have. The only thing better about the Prius is the fuel mileage. So far both have been equally reliable.
     
  4. ems2158

    ems2158 Active Member

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    Still no Android Auto?
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    NOP, at least for PRIME. I don't know about other models. But I don't miss it. Never used it, never will.
     
  6. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    It's coming... but not well understood. There has been much confusion about why simply adopting the older version never intended for that type of use isn't just used anyway. To transition from phone-centric software to something actually designed for automotive application, it's basically a start over. That's just like when tablets were introduced. People didn't recognize how an interface for a phone could differ so much. In fact, some never do until seeing why firsthand.

    In other words, Toyota wants to do this right. So, they have been slowly making it available as the software matures. After all, who should address confusion with the interface or unrealistic expectations? Knowing it is a Google product, think about how Toyota fits into that equation.
     
  7. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    RAV4 Prime will be getting it. There is also a test rollout program for upgrading older models of Prius Prime underway.
     
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  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Unless it's free, I won't be interested in upgrading my PRIME, but swapping my Prius Prime to Rav4 PRIME is in my future plan.
     
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  9. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    With the 2017, Safety Connect was included free for three years. I just got an email inviting me to subscribe. Are you sure that it isn't included for free on your 2020?
     
  10. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Active Member

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    I usually don't carry my iPhone with me. And like the Buick owner, I would probably drop it into the ocean.
     
  11. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    what does the gm plan cost?
     
  12. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Yes, it is included free for 3 years. After the complimentary 3 years, it cost $8/mo or $90/year subscription. I just have no interest in the surveillance system in my car. I opted out of the Saftey Connect to disable other tracking features that come with it.
     
    #12 Salamander_King, Mar 18, 2020
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2020
  13. ems2158

    ems2158 Active Member

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    I'm paying about $10 a month for the gm safety connect services. The quoted price is considerably higher, I think it was $200 a year. I just threaten to cancel and they offer a lower price.
    It includes a lot of services I use or hope I don't need.
     
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  14. El Dobro

    El Dobro A Member

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    It also includes all sorts of charging options for the GM plug-ins, too.
     
  15. FuelMiser

    FuelMiser Senior Member

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    The feature I use most on my "connected" Mercedes is the ability to "send" a destination to the NAVI from my phone! When I jump in the car, it asks if I want to proceed to the destination, and I'm on my way.
     
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