Toyota, Microsoft Funding Joint Cloud Telematics Venture

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
toyota microsoft funding joint cloud telematics venture

While we wait for more details coming out of the joint Toyota-Microsoft press conference scheduled for a few hours from now, we thought we’d share some of the more recently-released details. A press release notes that the two firms

have forged a strategic partnership and plan to build a global platform for TMC’s next-generation telematics services using the Windows Azure platform. Telematics is the fusing of telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles; it can encompass GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies.

the two companies plan to participate in a 1 billion yen (approximately $12 million) investment in Toyota Media Service Co., a TMC subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota automotive customers. The two companies aim to help develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, starting with TMC’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012. TMC’s goal is to establish a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will provide affordable and advanced telematics services to Toyota automotive customers around the world.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.

Join the conversation
  • David Dennis David Dennis on Apr 06, 2011

    Whenever I see one of those ghastly Microsoft slides, both ugly and incomprehensible, I wonder if they think their own system is going to rain on their parade. That cloud up there looks pretty threatening. D

  • Bertel Schmitt Bertel Schmitt on Apr 06, 2011

    I got up at 4am Beijing time to watch the webcast, but the above pretty much covers it. No new SYNC. It's a data service for EVs.

    For me, the only interesting aspect is why Microsoft partners with Toyota, instead of dedicated EV evangelists, say Nissan. Toyota's stand on EVs is full of intentional ambiguity. For some reason, Balmer must expect much higher numbers of battery-operated cars coming from Aichi.

  • Pete Zaitcev Pete Zaitcev on Apr 06, 2011

    Azure is the suckiest cloud of them all (with Amazon ruling the cloud landscape, grabbing a times more revenue than Rackspace, Azure, and SunCloud combined), but you would never know it from the press. I saw Azure ads in airports! P.S. I think what's happening here is Toyota wanting the front-end to compete with Sync, and that brings in Microsoft, who then pulls the Azure in. Which probably means it's time to dump Toyota stock.

  • Ben Johnson Ben Johnson on Apr 07, 2011

    According to the slide - "Azure Services Platform" consists of "Azure Services" and "Windows Azure". That persuaded me... time to power down the Unix servers and migrate to Azure Services Platform powered by Azure Services and Windows Azure. All that Azure just has to be awesome.