Toyota has announced that it will launch Toyota Connected Inc to significantly expand the company's capabilities in the fields of data management and data services development.
The new company will serve as a data science hub for Toyota's global operations and will support a broad range of consumer-, business- and government-facing initiatives.
The launch of Toyota Connected builds on Toyota's global vision of a future of mobility that is clean, safe and convenient. The company will leverage the power of data science through Microsoft's Azure cloud technology to develop predictive, contextual, and intuitive services that help to humanize the driving experience while pushing the technology into the background.
"Toyota Connected will help free our customers from the tyranny of technology. It will make lives easier and help us to return to our humanity," said Zack Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Connected and Chief Information Officer at Toyota Motor North America. "From telematics services that learn from your habits and preferences, to use-based insurance pricing models that respond to actual driving patterns, to connected vehicle networks that can share road condition and traffic information, our goal is to deliver services that make lives easier."
Based in Plano, TX, Toyota Connected will launch with two mandates: delivering seamless and contextual services, and using cutting-edge data analytics to support product development for customers, dealers, distributors, and partners. In support of these goals, the new company will consolidate Toyota initiatives in data centre management, data analytics, and data driven services development.
In addition, the new company builds on Toyota's existing partnership with Microsoft to accelerate R&D efforts and deliver new connected car solutions and elevated customer experiences. Microsoft engineers will work with Toyota Connected in their new facility, providing continuous support across technology areas and leveraging a broad range of data analytics and mobile programs. Toyota Connected will adopt Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform, employing a hybrid solution globally.
"Toyota is taking a bold step creating a company dedicated to bringing cloud intelligence into the driving experience," said Kurt DelBene, executive vice-president, Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft. "We look forward to working with Toyota Connected to harness the power of data to make driving more personal, intuitive and safe."
Toyota Connected's structure builds on Toyota Motor Corporation's global re-organisation into product-based companies, and will focus on expanding Toyota's work in connected and data science technologies. Toyota Motor Corporation Senior Managing Officer Shigeki Tomoyama will be chairman, with Toyota Motor North America Chief Information Officer Zack Hicks serving as Chief Executive Officer.
The structure will allow Toyota Connected to centralize company initiatives across a broad range of emerging technology fields, ensuring that the common focus of all of them is the customer. Program areas will include in-car services and telematics; home/IoT connectivity; personalisation; safety; smart city integration; and a broad range data services for Toyota affiliates, its dealers; fleet services and more.
At launch, Toyota Connected is already providing a range of data and computer science services across Toyota's operations, including support for ongoing research into artificial intelligence and robotics and the Toyota Research Institute.