Toyota shows latest connected car tech at CES 2016

Toyota has revealed plans to accelerate its roll-out of connected car technology and next-generation telematics systems at CES 2016 in Las Vegas.

More new Toyota vehicles will come with a Data Communication Module (DCM) installed at the factory, as part of efforts to improve safety and provide better products and services to drivers. For example, Toyota will also provide an emergency notification as a standard feature on vehicles equipped with DCM. This is activated when airbags are deployed during a traffic accident, helping secure prompt first-response assistance in an emergency.

The DCM roll-out will begin with 2017 model-year US cars, before expanding to other regions. Currently DCMs vary around the world, but a standardised architecture will be developed for a uniform Toyota global DCM by 2019.

Backing this up, a Toyota Big Data Center is to be created to process and analyse the information collected by DCM, where it will be subject to high-level information security and privacy controls.

A further aspect of these innovation will ensure drivers use their devices safely when driving, and make sure that data about journeys and people using the car is transmitted securely. Toyota will work jointly with cloud software developer UIEvolution to create standard middleware for use with Toyota’s in-car devices globally.

Through this business collaboration, UIE will be able to develop a smartphone app which can provide vehicle data securely to third party service and app providers approved by Toyota. This means a customer can use their smartphone to access vehicle data in a highly secure environment through the Toyota Big Data Center, and Toyota can offer its customers safe and secure smartphone – car connection services.

Toyota announces new telematics system using SmartDeviceLink

Toyota has also entered into an agreement with Ford and Livio to establish an industry development and operation framework to deploy Livio’s SmartDeviceLink (SDL). Other car makers and app developers are welcome to join the collaboration and Toyota will be commercialising its own new telematics system using SDL.

SDL is an open source platform for smartphone apps and car connectivity which enables customers to access apps in their vehicle using voice recognition and/or a control panel.

Shigeki Terashi, Toyota Motor Corporation Executive Vice President, said: “Developing a safer and more secure in-car smartphone connectivity service which better matches individual vehicle features is exactly the kind of value and advantage a carmaker can offer its customers. We expect that many companies share our view and will participate in the industry SDL collaboration.”

Toyota and Ford entered a collaboration agreement to work on next-generation in-car telematics system standardisation in August 2011. Subsequently, in June 2015, Toyota began working with Ford and Livio to explore how SDL might be introduced in its vehicles. This investigation has been completed successfully and Toyota considers SLD to be suitable for its in-car app connectivity requirements.

Using SDL, carmarkers can offer smartphone apps which match their in-car system characteristics and interface, so customers can use the apps they want more safely and comfortably. At the same time, if more carmakers use SDL, app designers can develop products that are compatible with multiple vehicle telematics systems, which means more apps can be offered to customers within a shorter development time.

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