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TMC, Microsoft collab delivers modern telematics apps

Posted: 12 Oct 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:telematics? cloud? partnership? in-car infotainment?

Microsoft Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. (TMC) have entered a strategic partnership that will pave the way for a global architecture for TMC's modern telematics services using Windows' cloud platform. The deal calls for both companies to invest about $12 million in Toyota Media Service Co., a TMC subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers.

Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles. It encompasses GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies. 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 TMC's electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. TMC's goal is to establish a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced global telematics services to Toyota automotive customers.

As part of its smart grid activities, aimed at achieving a low-carbon society through efficient energy use, TMC is conducting trials in Japan of its Toyota Smart Center pilot program. The plant intends 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.

Microsoft has a long history of delivering platforms and services to the automotive market, including in-car infotainment systems built on the Windows Embedded Automotive platform, in-car mapping services with Bing, Microsoft Tellme voice application and many other consumer solutions.

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