"TMC has encouraged us to take a conservative approach to the introduction of SATNAV systems in South Africa and not rush into this application for our vehicles," says Andrew Kirby, Toyota's Senior Vice President, Sales and Marketing.
"The quality and depth of mapping for South Africa is now at a level where we are confident in its application in our vehicles."
With the Prius SatNav system route finding is a simple process using a touch screen for inputs. Ten methods are available to search for a destination and route to it. A full keyboard is available on screen to search by address, intersection, motorway entry or exit, or point of interest (POI).
Waypoints can be stored in memory for later access, previously accessed points can be recalled, Points of interest near the cursor or vehicle location can be searched and points of interest can even be searched by phone number with a huge number of these points stored together with their phone numbers on the system's database.
A destination can also be selected by locating it on the map with the cursor, or by entering the co-ordinates if these are known. A user can register home or frequently used destinations to allow for a one-touch route search option.
The multi-map screen offers versatility in the choice of just how the driver wants the navigational information displayed.
The single map screen offers a broad overview of the vehicle's position while the dual map screen offers this broad view together with a zoomed view down to street level. The zoom function is also available to provide detailed visual representations of intersections and the route to be followed through them.
The Motorway mode and upcoming turn list provide a listing of upcoming turns. A compass mode is also available to provide directional and co-ordinate information.
Route preferences are user selectable allowing for a recommended route, an alternative route or a shortest distance route to be selected for navigation.
The SATNAV system makes use of a new high resolution touch screen EMV (Electro Multi Vision) display that also allows the function of the hybrid system to be monitored.
The audio system, compatible with MP3 and WMA (Windows Media Audio) CD formats, features an ASL (Automatic Sound Leveliser) system that automatically regulates the volume of the system relative to ambient noise levels as road speed varies.
The system also incorporates a "Bluetooth" feature that allows a "Bluetooth" compatible mobile phone to interface with the system for hands free operation. An audio "mini-jack" is provided in the centre console to allow the connection of external devices such as an I-Pod to the audio system.