In April 2011 Microsoft Corporation and Toyota Motor Corp. launched a strategic alliance to jointly fabricate a software platform dedicated to managing the information systems for electric vehicles.
The initiative is invaluable for the new generation of telematics services, which include energy management, GPS systems and multimedia technologies.
The first fruits of this collaboration will be seen in Toyota vehicles in 2012. However, the companies’ objective is to create, by 2015, a complete platform in the cloud that can provide telematics systems to every Toyota customer in the world.
As part of the collaboration, the two companies will each invest $12 million in Toyota Media Service Co., a subsidiary that will develop digital information services for Toyota customers.
The Toyota Smart Center is currently running a pilot program to connect people, cars and homes with the aim of integrating energy consumption management and working towards a more sustainable society. Microsoft has established other strategic collaborations to advance its communications systems platforms in the automobile sector, and is hoping to expand the in-car infotainment concept, through multimedia devices, maps, social networking, and voice-activated modules to manage all of these applications. However, the Toyota Microsoft partnership is taking things one step further, with plans to connect energy management systems of different vehicles. The companies have envisioned that electric and hybrid Toyota vehicles will connect to the intelligent network to handle their own charging with maximum efficiency.