updated 4/20/2005 9:53:47 PM ET 2005-04-21T01:53:47

Besides automatically calling an ambulance when an air bag opens, Toyota's new wireless system for cars can play thousands of karaoke tunes and send a mobile phone message when a car door is left unlocked.

In many ways, G-Book Alpha is similar to other wireless services offered by other automakers, such as OnStar by General Motors Corp. But unlike those of rivals, the system uses a telecommunications device contained in the car, rather than a mobile phone, to let operators know the car's location.

The new system also comes with on-demand car audio from which drivers can purchase music, with subscription to prerecorded sing-along tunes an option.

The system also will monitor your car for possible theft, conduct restaurant searches and give you the quickest routes to requested destinations.

Toyota Motor Corp. declined to say whether a similar system will be offered overseas.

The system is free for a year after buying a new Toyota car. After that, costs start at $110 a year.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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