Toyota and Microsoft to partner on next generation telematics for electric vehicles


Akio Toyoda,
Toyota City, Japan and Redmond, WA, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — April 8, 2011 – Toyota and Microsoft have formed a partnership to build a global platform for the motor company’s next generation telematics services for deployment in electric vehicles using the Windows Azure platform.

As part of the partnership, the two companies plan to participate in a 1 billion yen (approximately $12 million) investment in Toyota Media Service Co., a Toyota subsidiary that offers digital information services to the company’s automotive customers.

The two companies aim to help develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, 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 automotive customers around the world.

“This new partnership is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world,” commented Toyota president Akio Toyoda. “To achieve this, it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”

“Today’s announcement of our partnership is a great example of how we continue to invest in the automotive industry and of our commitment to power the services that are important to consumers,” added Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “It further validates the power of the cloud, as the Azure platform will provide the scalable platform that Toyota needs to deliver telematics in its automobiles worldwide.”

Telematics is the fusing of ICTs in vehicles and can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.