Toyota, Microsoft announce telematics partnership

  • 12-Apr-2011 08:09 EDT

The Toyota-Microsoft global telematics platform will see first applications beginning next year with Toyota full and partial electric vehicle models including the second-generation RAV4 Electric, several of which are shown here at the outset of a testing program launched in conjunction with a Toyota sustainability seminar held April 5-6 in La Jolla, CA.

Toyota and Microsoft are teaming on development of a new global platform for telematics services that are particularly suited for full and partial electric vehicles. The Windows Azure-based platform will enable conventional services including route mapping, plus services related to energy management of the car and the home. Telematics applications will begin with advanced-technology vehicles Toyota plans to begin selling over the next few couple years, including the Prius plug-in hybrid in 2012. At a Toyota conference on sustainability that happened to be taking place at the time of the partnership announcement, Toyota spokesman John Hanson said the cloud-based telematics system will, among other things, allow owners of plug-in vehicles "to make better use of energy when they charge up the vehicle; they can remotely control such things as charging time with their iPhone."

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