Now All You Need Is Some Brakes: Pandora Integrates With Toyota

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CES is just warming up, but Pandora is already unwrapping a mega-deal.

That is, a dashboard integration partnership with Toyota, a move that adds to an equally colossal tie-up with Ford.  And just like Ford’s Sync, Toyota is smartly factoring Pandora into its broader Entune multimedia suite.

Entune is based on a platform created by Nuance, one that offers lots of voice-controlled capabilities, app integrations, navigation, safe text-messaging options, and also a kitchen sink.

Actually, this sort of functionality is already in motion on the Toyota fleet in areas like navigation and integrated mobile phones.  But Entune represents an entirely new level.  “We’re very pleased to have Toyota as a key partner in this space where we aspire to make Pandora in cars as popular as Pandora on smartphones,” relayed Pandora SVP of Business Development Jessica Steel.

But these are not separate domains, and smartphones are the critical link.  Handhelds offer the connectivity, and surrender app functionality into the dashboard once the ride ensues.   So, dominance in one area naturally bleeds into the other, though Toyota is also inking a similar partnership with iheartradio.  The first Entune systems will surface later this year.