Toyota and Microsoft ink e-car deal in a cloud of telematics
Any colour you want, as long as it's Azure
Toyota and Microsoft have announced a $12m joint investment on including Microsoft's Azure cloud platform in upcoming Toyota vehicles for better telematics.
The two companies have been working together since 1998 on in-car mapping, entertainment and information services for cars.
Ideas include switching on heating while the car is charging or using a mobile to check charge levels on their electric car, and a timer switch function so you can set your car to start charging when electricity prices are lower overnight.
Toyota boss Akio Toyoda said the value of his company's vehicles would be boosted by making them communications tools too. Microsoft's Steve Ballmer said you had to shoot ahead of what customers want today.
Answering questions after the announcement, Toyoda said combining telematics with car management systems with Microsoft's cloud architecture would properly link vehicles to IT functions.
Toyoda expects vehicles on sale by 2012 to include Azure-based Smart Center technology. By 2015 the joint venture wants to have global deals with mobile firms to provide Toyota customers with comms services through their cars.
Ballmer said the first target was electric vehicle management and charging, but applications beyond that would follow on from 2012.
Putting Microsoft software on a Toyota should at least prevent any risk of uncontrolled acceleration
so all those 'if Microsoft made cars...' jokes from the 90's will finally be coming true then!! :-)
"Sorry . .
.. your car has been locked by another user (Username = you). Choose one of the following options :-
1. Wait for the other user to release the lock (you will be notified)
2. Open the car "read only" so you can check the charge level
3. Cancel opening the car and go and have a lie down instead
4. Call a taxi as this baby is going nowhere"