Improving infotainment systems at Toyota with Flutter
At Toyota, every part of the driving experience is considered and perfected, right down to the on-screen infotainment systems on the dash. While Toyota had always developed their in-vehicle technology themselves, they were intrigued by Flutter and wondered how it could help them improve the user experience for their drivers.
When Toyota discovered that Flutter was beginning to support embedded devices, they reached out about a partnership.
Toyota customers expect the same high level of performance in their infotainment systems as they do from the driving experience, so it was important that the on-screen experience match the Toyota look and feel. Thanks to Flutter’s high-performing rendering engine and features such as AOT compilation, the team felt confident that they could build something that felt premium — more like a smartphone app than a traditional embedded system.
Flutter’s developer experience was another big selling point. The ability to hot-reload the app on desktop and deliver to iOS and Android tablets is extremely helpful for user testing, helping Toyota collect faster feedback for a better user experience.
Toyota is currently using Flutter’s Embedder API to develop their Linux-powered infotainment systems. By cross-compiling the engine and wrapping it in an embedder, the Flutter engine’s architecture makes it easy to embed in their target environment.
Using Dart and the Flutter SDK software design, Toyota has created several in-house tools to improve their development process. Flutter’s declarative UI and “code-as-configuration” have allowed the team to create design tools that generate code to run and validate software immediately, without confusing middle tiers.
“Flutter's open source principles and high-growth developer community have been critical to our success.”
- Daniel Hall, Chief Engineer, Toyota Motor North America
Flutter’s open-source principles and developer community have been critical to Toyota’s success. The team credits Flutter’s large and open ecosystem for helping them achieve their goals, and they look forward to the launch of their new infotainment system in future Toyota vehicles.