Toyota has announced Toyota Connected, Inc., a new user experience and product development company.
Expanding on its existing relationship with Microsoft, Toyota Connected aims to significantly expand the Japanese automaker’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 wide range of consumer-, business- and government-facing initiatives. According to Toyota, Toyota Connected will leverage 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.”
The new company will be based in Plano, Texas, and will focus on two mandates: delivering seamless and contextual services and using cutting-edge data analytics to support product development for customers, dealers, distributors and partners. Its CEO will be Zack Hicks, who is also Toyota Motor North America’s chief information officer.
Program areas for Toyota Connected include in-car services and telematics, home/IoT connectivity, personalization, safety, smart city integration and a broad range of data services for Toyota affiliates, its dealers, fleet services and more.
“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, CEO 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.”