Given the choice of developing their future-generation hybrid-electric technologies separately and deploying them later, or working together to develop and deploy a single hybrid technology sooner, Ford and Toyota have decided on the latter. The automakers in an Aug. 22 joint press release announced a memorandum of understanding to that effect. Under the collaboration, which they expect to formalize next year, the companies will focus on a new hybrid system and component technology for light trucks and SUVs that will be introduced later this decade. Though developed jointly, the automakers will integrate the resulting technology into their vehicles independently, with unique calibration and performance criteria. According to the press release, they have been working independently "for years" on similar new rear-wheel-drive hybrid systems. The MOU also calls for collaboration on telematics.