Toyota (TMC) is partnering with Microsoft to develop a telematics service program which likely will be incorporated into electric and plug-in hybrid Toyota models sometime in 2012.
Both companies will invest in Toyota Media Services Co., a subsidiary of TMC, in order create a $12 million applications project that encompass GPS, energy management, and digital information. All of this will be running off the Windows Azure platform.
TMC is currently conducting trials in Japan of its Smart Center pilot program that links owners to smart-grid energy usage for their home and automobile, something that will be increasingly necessary for drivers fueling their electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles from their own charging stations.
The ultimate goal of the program is to establish a telematic cloud-based platform for Toyota customers around the world to track energy management by 2015. Microsoft has been involved in car infotainment centers in the past, and as we covered in our interview with a representative from the company, working on a home energy management system. So the decision to work with one of the world’s leading green automakers on a project that combines both technologies comes at no surprise, but hopefully, the results of the project will.
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