Toyota has announced that it will launch a new telematics systems later this year for select Toyota and Lexus models, similar to the current service offered by General Motors’ OnStar system. Named ‘Safety Connect’ for Toyota, and Lexus Enform for the carmaker’s luxury division, the new system will help to improve the safety of Toyota and Lexus vehicles as well offer new convenience features.

Starting with Safety Connect, the new telematics offerings include Automatic Collision Notification (ACN), designed to contact emergency services in the event of either an airbag deployment or a severe rear-end collision, Stolen Vehicle Location (SVL), which provides vehicle tracking in case a vehicle is stolen, Emergency Assistance Button (SOS), which connects users to a 24-hour emergency hotline, and finally 24-hours Roadside Assistance.

Owners of Lexus vehicles will be able to opt for the extra Enform package, which offers a number of extra convenience features. These include a diverse assortment of offerings ranging from information and convenience capabilities to up-to-the-minute weather reports.

The features include Destination Assist, which offers live-operator assistance and a special Zagat's best-in-breed restaurant locator. While either parked or driving, the driver will be able to easily connect to an operator to ask for help finding local points of interest from dining to gas stations, dry cleaners to museums.

Lexus Enform also includes eDestination, which will allow the user to go online to select and organize destinations of their choice and then send them wirelessly to their vehicle. There is also a voice-activation system called Flexible Voice Interface, Lexus Insider news service, and finally XM satellite radio capability.

Safety Connect and Lexus Enform will be delivered on select models in the middle of the year as embedded, factory-installed hardware that can be activated upon subscription at dealerships. An included one-year trial subscription will be offered for new vehicle purchases.