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By 7 April 2011 | Categories: news

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Microsoft and Toyota have announced their new strategic partnership which will see the two companies create a global platform for the Japanese car maker’s next-generation telematics services. This platform will be developed using Microsoft’s cloud services operating system called Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure.
 
Telematics has to do with the amalgamation of telecommunications and information technologies within vehicles, including such technologies as GPS navigation systems, energy management systems as well as multimedia technologies.
 
According to the partnership, the two companies plan to participate in a 1 billion yen (around R80 million) investment in Toyota Media Service company (a Toyota subsidiary), which provides digital data services to Toyota automotive clients.
 
These two companies then intend to develop and deploy telematics applications on the Windows Azure platform, kicking off with Toyota’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles in 2012.
 
Toyota’s aim with this initiative is to set up a complete global cloud platform by 2015 that will offer reasonably priced and advanced telematics services to its customers around the globe.
 
“Today’s announcement of our partnership with TMC [Toyota Motor Corp.] is a great example of how we continue to invest in the automotive industry and of our commitment to power the services that are important to consumers,” said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
 
“It further validates the power of the cloud, as the Windows Azure platform will provide the enterprise-grade, scalable platform that TMC needs to deliver telematics in its automobiles worldwide.”
 
“This new partnership between Microsoft and Toyota is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world. Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society,” said Akio Toyoda, president of TMC. “To achieve this, it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”

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