Toyota City, Japan – Toyota and Microsoft have announced a strategic partnership and plans to build a global platform for Toyota’s next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure platform.
Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles, and can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.
As part of the partnership, the two companies plan to participate in an investment of approximately US$12 million in Toyota Media Service Company, a Toyota subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies aim to help develop and deploy telematics applications starting with Toyota’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012.
Toyota’s goal is to establish a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services to its customers worldwide. The company said that, as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more popular, systems that link people, automobiles and homes for integrated control of energy consumption will become popular and will rely more on telematics services for achieving efficient energy management.