Toyota expands focus on software and data-driven mobility with launch of Toyota Connected

Toyota today announced the launch of Toyota Connected Inc, a development that will significantly expand the company’s capabilities in data management and data services development.

The new enterprise will serve as a data science hub for Toyota’s global operations and will support a broad range of consumer, business and government-facing initiatives.

The launch of Toyota Connected builds on Toyota’s global vision of future mobility that is clean, safe and convenient. The company will leverage the power of data science through Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology to develop predictive, contextual and intuitive services that help to humanise the driving experience, while pushing the technology into the background.

See more: Toyota shows latest connected car tech at CES

Zack Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Connected and Chief Information Officer at Toyota Motor North America, said: “Toyota Connected will help free our customers from the tyranny of technology. It will make lives easier and help us to return to our humanity.

“From telematics services that learn from your habits and preferences, to use-based insurance pricing models that respond to actual driving patterns, to connected vehicle networks that can share road condition and traffic information, our goal is to deliver services that make lives easier.”

Based in Plano, Texas, Toyota Connected is being launched with two mandates: delivery of seamless and contextual services; and the use of cutting-edge data analytics to support product development for customers, dealers, distributors and partners.

Toyota Connected will help free our customers from the tyranny of technology. It will make lives easier and help us to return to our humanity

In support of these goals, the new company will consolidate Toyota initiatives in data centre management, data analytics and data-driven services development.

Building on relationship with Microsoft

In addition, the company builds on Toyota’s existing partnership with Microsoft to accelerate R&D efforts and deliver new connected car services and better customer experiences. Microsoft engineers will work with Toyota Connected at its new facility, providing continuous support across technology areas and making use of a wide range of data analytics and mobile programs. Toyota Connected will adopt Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform, making use of a hybrid system worldwide.

Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President, Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft, said: “Toyota is taking a bold step in creating a company dedicated to bringing cloud intelligence into the driving experience. We look forward to working with Toyota Connected to harness the power data to make driving more personal, intuitive and safe.”

Toyota Connected’s structure builds on Toyota Motor Corporation’s global reorganisation into product-based companies, and it will focus on expanding Toyota’s work in connected and data science technologies. TMC Senior Managing Officer Shigeki Tomoyama will be chairman with Zack Hicks as CEO.

The business structure will allows Toyota Connected to centralise company initiatives across a broad range of emerging technology fields, ensuing they all have customer as their common focus. Programme areas will include in-car services and telematics; home/IoT connectivity; personalisation; safety; smart city integration; and a broad range of data services for Toyota affiliates, dealers, fleet services and more.

At launch, Toyota Connected is already providing a range of data and computer science services across Toyota’s operations, including support for ongoing research into artificial intelligence and robotics, and the Toyota Research Institute.

Toyota’s belief in human-centred mobility and a fundamental commitment to personal privacy are at the heart of Toyota Connected. It will operate in full support of the USA’s Federal Trade Commission’s privacy principles for vehicle technologies and services.

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