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Toyota, Intel connect to connect cars to web

Highway 404 revisited?

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Toyota and Intel are to co-operate on the development of next-generation in-car systems.

The two firms' announcement was short on details, long on generalisation: they will "target appropriate methods of providing information to drivers through in-vehicle systems, as well as information technologies that would enable seamless communication between on-board information systems and nearby information systems".

So it's essentially all about giving cars wireless connectivity - inherently or through a tethered smartphone - and the systems that can use that connection to grab appropriate info and entertainment from the interweb.

Back in April, Toyota signed a deal with Microsoft to use the software giant's cloud technology to underpin its connected car development work.

Toyota is also a member of the the Car Connectivity Consortium, an organisation that comprises the likes of Nokia, Samsung and LG, plus numerous auto makers and manufacturers of in-car systems, all working to agree on interoperability standards.

Hints in the announcement suggest Toyota and Intel are looking beyond souped-up satnav tech: they talk about integrating technologies such as "radar cruise control" - allowing cars to communicate with each other to keep them a sensible distance apart while driving at a constant speed. Volvo has been working on this kind of thing too, as have other car makers.

Intel and Toyota also talked about working on "vehicle-driver interfaces that do not interfere with driving", a phrase that could take in voice, eye-tracking and heads-up display tech. ®

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