Cars are becoming more and more like smartphones with wheels! And the same Microsoft-Google war is also going on here. While some car makers like Audi go to Google for infotainment systems, some like Toyota team up with Microsoft.
The new strategic partnership between Japanese car maker and the IT giant will build a global platform for TMC’s next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure platform. These systems have various uses like GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.
They’ve invested nearly $12 million in Toyota Media Service subsidiary to develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, to use in Toyota vehicles starting with electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. This is part of Microsoft’s bigger plan for creating a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services.
Among all its uses, Toyota is more focused on the energy management feature of this system. They want to to link people, automobiles and homes for integrated control of energy consumption. TMC believes that, as electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more popular, such systems will rely more on telematics services for achieving efficient energy management.
“Today’s announcement of our partnership with TMC 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,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. “It further validates the power of the cloud, as the Windows Azure platform will provide the enterprise-grade, scalable platform that TMC needs to deliver telematics in its automobiles worldwide.”
“This new partnership between Microsoft and Toyota is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world. Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society,” said Akio Toyoda, president of TMC. “To achieve this, it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”