Microsoft to power Toyota cars online

2011-04-07 10:32

San Francisco - Microsoft and Toyota Motor Corp (TMC) on Wednesday announced they will work together to infuse the Japanese auto maker's cars with digital capabilities hosted in the internet "cloud".

Microsoft and Toyota planned to jointly invest ¥1bn ($12m) in a Toyota subsidiary devoted to automotive digital information services.

Navigation, energy management, and other "smart" features in the next generation of Toyota vehicles were to be built on Microsoft cloud-computing platform Windows Azure.

"Today's announcement... is a great example of how we continue to invest in the automotive industry and of our commitment to power the services that are important to consumers," said Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer.

"It further validates the power of the cloud, as the Windows Azure platform will provide the enterprise-grade, scalable platform that TMC needs to deliver telematics in its automobiles worldwide."


Toyota cars tapping into computer services hosted by Microsoft in the internet "cloud" were to be electric and plug-in hybrid models to hit roads next year.

Toyota expected to have a "complete global cloud platform" in place by 2015.

Toyota is conducting tests in Japan of a Smart Centre intended to connect people, homes, and cars in an energy management system using internet technologies.

"Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society," TMC president Akio Toyoda said in a release.

"To achieve this, it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart centre energy-management systems."

  • Martin du Plessis - 2011-04-07 11:47

    "Aaargh! My gearbox just Blue-screened! Ctrl-alt-del! CTRL-ALT-DEL!!!"

      roamingwolf17 - 2011-04-07 12:03

      Which option would you like: 1) Last best config . . 2) Windows safe mode That could be quite funny !!

  • Greg - 2011-04-07 11:51

    Microsoft is the route of all evil, they should have gone for a more stable platform.

  • Robert - 2011-04-07 12:04

    Reminds me of the old GM quote: If cars ran like Microsoft for no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car. Sometimes your car would die for no reason. You would then pull over, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you can continue.

  • branden.hart - 2011-04-07 12:24

    Hahaha - A new meaning to System Crash

  • GveHmAnChan - 2011-04-07 12:31

    Well thats the end of Toyota. Well done. Excellent choice you have made there.

  • JHB01 - 2011-04-07 13:00

    Looks like my next car won't be a Toyota. They should have chosen a Unix / Linux based system like Meego or android. DRM media, blue screen of death stability problems, unresponsive system, virusses ... I see no upside Now I have another thing to consider when choosing a car, and it definately won't be one running MS Windows!

  • GveHmAnChan - 2011-04-07 14:14

    I heard an story about a BMW, i believe, which crashed during testing. The cause of the error was found to be the that the windows operating system was setup with email server priority higher than the ABS program . Not sure if it was true. Good while driving. Bad idea...MS Windows for a life critical application.

  • Julius - 2011-04-07 15:05

    Toyata's will now have three new buttons on the dashboard "ctrl" "alt" "del"

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