There are a lot of places where we conduct searches. At home; at work; in stores; on the go; and… in cars? While the idea of conducting web searches while breezing down the freeway is somewhat frightening, it’s certainly a reality — although one we hope remains so only for vehicle passengers. Now, capitalizing on this, Bing is making searches on the road even more simply, thanks to a partnership with Toyota.
Announced at CES and on various outside reports, Bing will be working with Toyota on its new navigation system, known as the Toyota Entune. Entune isn’t just a navigation system, however. It’s designed for GPS assistance, yes, but it’s also meant as an entertainment and information resource. By combining your smartphone’s applications with a computing system built directly into the vehicle — all via a Bluetooth connection — Entune provides a truly versatile resource. It’s all done with advanced voice commands, too, so it may not be so frightening an idea as one might think.
And how does Bing figure into all this? While users will be able to choose a variety of applications, and potentially choose an alternative search engine, Bing’s agreement with Toyota will have the Bing application shipped as a featured application with the Entune system. It’s a smart choice for Bing, and one they’re well suited for. While other search engines have provided applications that essentially clone their search engine, the Bing app is well-known for being specifically designed for mobile platforms, providing an easier to navigate and use mobile search. Additionally, Bing Maps is hailed as one of the areas in which Microsoft has actually surpassed Google.
Entune will be released in higher-end Toyota models later in 2011.