Toyota launches connected car collaboration with Microsoft
In a statement, Toyota said that newly created Toyota Connected Inc “will serve as a data science hub for Toyota’s global operations and will support a broad range of consumer, business and government-facing initiatives”.
Based in Plano, Texas, the enterprise is being headed up by Zack Hicks, chief information officer at Toyota Motor North America, and will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to develop “predictive, contextual and intuitive services that help to humanise the driving experience”.
Building on Toyota’s existing partnership with Microsoft, the new enterprise Microsoft engineers will work with Toyota Connected at its new facility, providing continuous support across technology areas and making use of a wide range of data analytics and mobile programmes.
Toyota Connected is already providing a range of data and computer science services across Toyota’s operations, including support for ongoing research into artificial intelligence and robotics, and the Toyota Research Institute.
Zack Hicks said: “Toyota Connected will help free our customers from the tyranny of technology. It will make lives easier and help us to return to our humanity.
“From telematics services that learn from your habits and preferences, to use-based insurance pricing models that respond to actual driving patterns, to connected vehicle networks that can share road condition and traffic information, our goal is to deliver services that make lives easier.”
Kurt DelBene, executive vice president, corporate strategy and planning at Microsoft, added: “Toyota is taking a bold step in creating a company dedicated to bringing cloud intelligence into the driving experience. We look forward to working with Toyota Connected to harness the power data to make driving more personal, intuitive and safe.”