Toyota Rolling Out ChromeOS-Based Signage Network Across 3,000+ European Dealers

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 Hat Tip to @digitaloohnews for spotting this …

Toyota’s European auto division has rolled out a ChromeOS-based digital signage solution to some 3,000 of its showrooms, and the company says it plans to have as many as 10,000 screens running off Chromeboxes, across 3,600 dealers.

Google’s blog references a program built around Asus Chromeboxes and a custom-built signage app, likely developed by the Belgium firm Fourcast, a Google Cloud partner who worked with Toyota on the deployment with a “packaged, end-to-end solution, and ensured the systems were delivered on a tight, five-day timeframe.”

Steven Simons, IT Manager for Customer Retail and Product Systems at Toyota Motor, Europe, says the shift to Google’s ChromeOS  was prompted by the company’s disappointment with a mainstream signage solution.

“We first experimented with digital signage in our showrooms in 2014 to display information about our cars in ways that reflected what customers saw online,” says Simons on the Google blog. “However, the system we were using was expensive, unstable and difficult to maintain and manage.”

“So, we turned to Chrome in late 2015 and replaced our existing digital signage with Asus Chromeboxes connected to 42-inch flatscreen TVs. We manage and program all of the devices centrally from Toyota headquarters. Retailers just install the Chromeboxes and TVs, and they’re up and running. That way, retailers can focus on their customers rather than on technology.”

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Salespeople are using the screens for assisted selling, and a version of a car configurator – a common online tool for personalizing and pricing cars in the research stage  of buying – is on screens, as well.

“Consumers typically come in with plenty of online research in hand, and they can pick right back up with these configurations in store on our digital signage,” says Simons. “Across Europe, 100,000 customers a month use the signage.”

That’s a rollout that will break some hearts around the sales units of various digital signage CMS solutions. It’s a big, scaled rollout happening without a commercial CMS, and being done AFTER the company tried running off a pure-play signage CMS.
I’ve not heard or read about many large deployments using ChromeOS and Chrome devices, but 10,000 screens run in house by the world’s biggest automaker is not something the “Chrome is going nowhere in signage” crowd can roll their eyes at and dismiss. That’s a substantial job.
Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than a decade. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Toronto.
Dave Haynes

@sixteennine

Decade-old blog about digital signage and related tech, written by industry consultant and shit-disturber Dave Haynes.
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