Bing has landed its first deal to provide in-car search capabilities with today’s announcement of Toyota Entune at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Entune is Toyota’s new navigation system, a combination in-car hardware and mobile phone application that will be available in select Toyota vehicles later this year.
Entune features Bing for Mobile (with Bing Maps) as one of its featured apps, giving drivers access to Bing search results via the dashboard’s touch screen or by using Bing for Mobile’s voice search capabilities. Users will first need to download the Entune app to their mobile phones and then pair it with the vehicle over Bluetooth. Entune will use your phone’s data plan.
This is a good move for Bing, but it’s also playing catch up with the competition. Google has had deals with BMW and Mercedes Benz dating back to 2007; Yahoo has also had a Mercedes Benz deal and had a separate deal with the now-defunct Dash in-car navigation system before that; MapQuest partnered with OnStar back in 2007, as well.
Postscript: Another Bing/vehicle-related announcement from CES — ATX, a company that provides “connected vehicle solutions” (AKA telematics) has announced that it will be using Bing “to provide intelligent search tools for Hyundai owners through the automaker’s new Blue Link connected vehicle program.” The service will be available on select Hyundai models later this year.