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Toyota developing integrated "carphone" with KDDI

Evan Blass

In a move designed to foster tighter integration between cars and the cellphones that cause people to crash their cars, Toyota has just announced that it will be co-developing a handset with Japanese carrier KDDI based on an existing Toshiba model. The phone, cutely name TiMO (and obviously NOT pictured above -- if you think that's a Toshiba, you need to hit up this site a little more often), will feature Bluetooth functionality to make it compatible with Toyota's in-car navigation systems (think: on-screen caller ID and audio piped through the vehicle's speakers) as well as a dedicated OnStar-like button that drivers can trigger in an emergency. A special charger will also be part of the package, allowing the phone to dock in an armrest and give owners access to downloadable games and tunes, the latter of which will presumably be playable through the car's audio system. Next to Kyocera, Toyota is the largest shareholder in KDDI (with an 11% stake), and will offer the handsets exclusively at its 7,500 Japanese dealerships starting in October.

[Via Autoblog]

Update: Okay, we've snagged a picture of the real phone. Looks like a perfectly plain flip with the notable addition of a submicronic "Toyota" logo on the backside to us. Strong work, guys.

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