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InfoQ Homepage News Microsoft and Toyota announce Cloud Infrastructure for Smart Cars

Microsoft and Toyota announce Cloud Infrastructure for Smart Cars

Microsoft and Toyota have announced a strategic partnership on future telematics for vehicles. Goal of the partnership is to create a common telematics platform until 2015 with Microsoft contributing its Windows Azure Cloud Computing technology and TMC (Toyota Media Service Co.) deploying its telematics applications in the Azure-based cloud. The solution will address electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. Both partners will spend  12 Million US-$ for the joint venture.

Telematics represents the fusion of information technologies and telecommunications systems. Applying it to the domain of vehicles comprises the integration of formerly disparate systems such as entertainment systems, energy management, or location services. In particular, this will enable owners of vehicles to stream audio or video content, connect to different information services, or manage the batteries of their electric vehicles. For instance, the system could dynamically calculate the best time for charging batteries depending on energy prices. The benefit for Toyota is that it can provide services in almost all countries worldwide without any necessity to deploy and administer its own IT infrastructure.

Akio Toyoda, president of Toyota Motor Corporation, said:

Together, utilizing Windows Azure and Microsoft’s vast information infrastructure, we will boost the value of automobiles by making them ‘information terminals,’ moving beyond today’s GPS navigation and wireless safety communications, while at the same time enhancing driver and traffic safety.

According to Steve Balmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation:

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. 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.

For all wondering about how much would be charged for such a service. The pricing model for car owner has not been announced so far by Toyota.

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