HappyCow—an online platform that helps people find vegan and vegetarian restaurants—has partnered with car manufacturer Toyota to integrate its restaurant guide into the Destination Assist feature on select 2020 and newer Toyota and Lexus models. The feature is available in almost two million vehicles in the United States. Car owners press the “Destination” button on the navigation menu to be connected to a live representative and mention that they’re looking for a vegan or vegetarian restaurant and HappyCow will be used to direct the driver to restaurants near them. The service can help drivers narrow down their choices based on proximity to their vehicle or type of cuisines and then remotely send the destination to their vehicle’s navigation system. Destination Assist is offered as a free trial for the first year of a new Toyota purchase or lease and for three years for a new Lexus purchase or lease.
“We are excited about being part of Toyota Connected’s Destination Assist, which allows owners of select 2020 Toyota/Lexus models to speak to live representatives who have been trained to use HappyCow,” Ken Spector, HappyCow Principal, told VegNews. “[This] helps users to navigate to vegan food restaurants and other vegan options throughout the US.”
Toyota contacted HappyCow for this partnership because of the rise in popularity of veganism and the car company wanted to make it easier for drivers to find vegan options. While the service is currently only available in the US, HappyCow is exploring its feasibility in other global markets.