The new Lexus GS series doesn’t just offer the prowess of a cheetah on the road, but it also fully embraces its tech side with the next generation of the Lexus Enform. Just like with OnStar, Ford Sync and Cadillac Cue, the Lexus Enform system looks to expand your experience within your Lexus GS vehicle by helping you out with POI destinations, purchases, and pairing your smartphone with your car for hands-free conversations. To that effect, the Enform system is not only iPhone friendly, but BlackBerry, and Android compatible too. There will also be an Enform app that works with the system too. No smartphone will be left out of co-mingling with the new Lexus Enform. The Lexus Enform is also cloud based, so any new updates to pre-existing apps or new ones will be automatically available to you. That means your system will always be up-to-date with the latest system upgrades and points of interest.
The Lexus Enform is an in-car navigation and information service that combines the best of both worlds right at your fingertips or lips. Voice recognition is key with the next generation of the Enform. Not only will you be able to toggle to your destination but also request, by voice, tickets to movies or locations of shops. Enform utilizes Bing for all of its POI searches, and just by speaking to your system, Bing will produce key results based on what you requested. In testing out the Enform we requested a ‘Flower shop nearby’. Bing pushed aside all the unnecessary verbiage and concentrated on the word ‘flower’ and provided me with a list of florists or flower shops in my location. That is pretty neat. The Enform even lowers the radio volume when you make verbal requests to the system, however, you do have to speak up when there is a lot of ambient noise or cross conversations going on in the vehicle.
Searches can not only be done via Bing, but with Yelp as well. You can also make reservations by using the OpenTable app while driving safely in your Lexus, and this is a standard in every GS vehicle. Any sort of request can be beamed to your vehicle, keeping you informed and safe at the wheel.
The Enform utilizes a 12.3-inch split-screen which isn’t a touch screen, but is controlled by a jog. It took a bit of patience to maneuver the jog correctly because of how sensitive it is, but once you get the hang of it, it works well. The split-screen display makes it ideal for simultaneous viewing of your radio, in-car climate control, GPS navigation, and apps.
Some other features include:
Destination Assist—Provides live 24-hour navigation assistance from the Lexus Enform response center with a push of a button via the in-car head unit; response center agents can help you find a specific address or business and then wirelessly send it to your vehicle’s Navigation System.
eDestination—Allows you to send destinations to your Lexus Navigation System remotely
Roadside Assistance—Connects you to a response center agent, who uses your vehicle’s GPS to get help to your location
Vehicle Information—Provides easy access to product videos
Dealers Nearby—Shows you the closest Lexus dealer location for easy service assistance Safety Connect includes:
Emergency Assistance Button
Enhanced Roadside Assistance
Automatic Collision Notification
Stolen Vehicle Location Other standard features include:
DVD audio and video compatibility
HD Radio™ with iTunes tagging and a three-month trial subscription to XM Audio Services
Purchasers of the new Lexus GS will get one year of complimentary Lexus Enform service. That means for a full year you will be able to unleash the possibilities of the Enform system for free. However, after the year is up there will be an annual fee that can range from $139.95 to $264.90 depending on the type of plan you choose to use with your Enform system. There are also nominal fees for additional monthly services.
The Lexus Enform is one of many new in-car systems that are embracing the cloud as well smartphone connectivity and in-car apps. How will all these systems stack up in the end? Well to sweeten the deal, Lexus has already put in place teams of people who will train and give one-on-one support to those drivers who are new to this whole new tech world in your car. Because what is the use of having all of this, if you can’t use it.
Please note, that in accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Lexus has covered my travel, accommodations and costs related to our visit to the Las Vegas Speedway.