Microsoft and Toyota Motor 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."
"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, which plans 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."
[Source: Microsoft Press]