Microsoft to support new Toyota connected car company

Sean Dudley
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley on 05 April 2016
Microsoft to support new Toyota connected car company

Car manufacturer Toyota has launched a new company focused on the connected car concept.

Toyota Connected will serve as the carmaker’s data science hub, as the company seeks to help connect vehicles to people’s daily lives.

Microsoft Azure will act as the cloud computing platform and will help enable Toyota Connected deliver a hybrid solution to customers, making driving more personal, intuitive and safe.

“We’ve all been talking about big data for a long time, but we are at a unique point in history where the technology is catching up with what we hope to achieve by delivering new services and capabilities into the vehicle,” said Zack Hicks, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Connected.

Through the new company, Toyota is aiming to expand its technological capabilities by expanding its relationship with Microsoft. Toyota Connected will also help consolidate the company’s initiatives in data centre management, data analytics and data-driven services development.

“The automotive industry is undergoing a massive transformation as drivers increasingly see their cars as mobile devices that extend their digital lifestyle,” said Kurt DelBene, Microsoft’s executive vice president of corporate strategy and planning. “That means people now care as much about their car’s computing power as its horsepower. So we’re working closely with carmakers, including this deep partnership with Toyota, to make automobiles more intelligent with sensors, screens, connectivity and vast networks of data that will help improve the whole driving experience.”

Microsoft is actively involved in a number of connected car partnerships, including with manufacturers such as Volvo Cars, Nissan, Harman and IAV. The company will work with Toyota Connected at its new facility in Plano, Texas, and provide engineering support across a range of data analytics and mobile programs.

“As we look for the future, Toyota can’t go there alone, and I don’t think any company can go there alone,” Hicks said. “This is a great partnership between Toyota and Microsoft to be able to deliver new, contextual, immersive and innovative experiences in the car that you couldn’t get on your own without that relationship.”

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