Toyota announced it will expand its five-year-old partnership with Microsoft. In a blog published Monday, Microsoft said the intent is for Toyota to create new internet-connected vehicle services for owners and dealers.
“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.
In a press release Toyota said a new division, Toyota Connected, based in Plano, TX, will launch with two mandates: delivering seamless and contextual services, and using cutting-edge data analytics to support product development for customers, dealers, distributors, and partners. In support of these goals, the new company will consolidate Toyota initiatives in data center management, data analytics, and data driven services development.
The Reuters News Service reported that services to be developed or expanded under Toyota Connected are insurance coverage and rates based on owners’ actual driving patterns; connected vehicle networks that can share information on traffic and weather conditions, such as icy roads; and information services tailored to a driver’s habits and preferences, including monitoring heart rate, glucose level and other personal health data.
Within the last year Toyota, Ford, BMW and Nissan have all announced or expanded their own Azure-based automotive services.