Microsoft and Toyota Motor Corp. today announced they have forged a partnership to build a global cloud platform to support telematics in Toyota hybrids and plug-in vehicles, starting in 2012. As the car increasingly becomes the ultimate “mobile device” for consumers, telematics technologies can allow drivers to start their cars remotely, turn on their AC from a cell phone, check systems within the car and much more.
As part of the partnership, the two companies will invest approximately $12 million in Toyota Media Service Co., a subsidiary that offers information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies will help develop and deploy telematics applications on Windows Azure. The agreement means that Toyota will be able to innovate, scale and deliver compelling services via the cloud, while Microsoft continues to build momentum around its cloud strategy with an enterprise company betting on Windows Azure to drive efficiencies and deliver innovative services. Most importantly, millions of Toyota customers will benefit from an affordable and advanced telematics services offering.
For more information on the announcement, please read the press release here. A joint video conference between Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer and Toyota President Akio Toyoda will be held at 1 p.m. PT today.
Posted by Jeff Meisner
Editor, The Official Microsoft Blog