Toyota and Microsoft team up to track you in your cars

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways April 5, 2016 16:29

Toyota and Microsoft team up to track you in your cars


Hidden in the dashboard of most modern cars, on-board computers are quietly gathering a goldmine of data.

Now Japanese car manufacturer Toyota has announced it is teaming up with Microsoft in an effort to mine some of this information.

The new venture, called Toyota Connected, was announced by the car firm and will look to collect and analyse data from its cars and push towards ‘connected vehicles’.

Toyota has announced it is teaming up with Microsoft in an effort to collect and analyse some of the valuable data being collected by its vehicles' on-board computers (stock image). Toyota Connected will focus on connecting cars to each other and to homes, as well as telematics features that learn a driver's habits

Toyota has announced it is teaming up with Microsoft in an effort to collect and analyse some of the valuable data being collected by its vehicles’ on-board computers (stock image). Toyota Connected will focus on connecting cars to each other and to homes, as well as telematics features that learn a driver’s habits

According to the car firm, the goal is a move towards simplified technology, such as voice activated in-car computers.

At this early stage, it is thought this could include artificial intelligence that would track where the driver is headed, offering suggestions en route.

‘I think people are really tired of fumbling with multiple devices and having this disjointed experience,’ said Zack Hicks, the boss of Toyota Connected and Toyota Motor America’s chief information officer.

Speaking to USA Today, executive vice president of Toyota Connected, Sandy Lobenstein, said: ‘We don’t want to dump everything on everyone…the whole is idea is getting to know our customers better.’

The new company will be based in Plano, Texas, and Toyota will use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing platform to collect and analyse data from vehicles, such as the Prius (pictured). By linking with other vehicles on the road, cars could 'speak' to each other to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions

The new company will be based in Plano, Texas, and Toyota will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform to collect and analyse data from vehicles, such as the Prius (pictured). By linking with other vehicles on the road, cars could ‘speak’ to each other to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions

The new venture will focus on connecting cars to each other and to homes, as well as telematics features that learn and anticipate a driver’s habits.

GOLDMINE OF DRIVER DATA

Toyota has announced it is teaming up with Microsoft in an effort to collect and analyse valuable data from its vehicles.

Toyota Connected will be based in Plano, Texas, and will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform to collect and analyse data from cars.

The new venture will focus on connecting cars to each other and to homes, as well as telematics features that learn and anticipate a driver’s habits.

By linking with other vehicles on the road, cars could speak to each other to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions.

Plans could extend to monitoring how safely someone drives, which could be passed to insurers to determine a driver’s premium

By linking with other vehicles on the road, cars could speak to each other to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions.

Plans could extend to monitoring how safely someone drives, which could be passed to insurers to determine a driver’s premium.

However, plans to collect health data to transmit to insurers could raise driver concerns.

A post on Microsoft’s blog described the move as creating ‘giant smartphones that you ride in’.

‘The automotive industry is undergoing a massive transformation as drivers increasingly see their cars as mobile devices that extend their digital lifestyle,’ said Microsoft’s Kurt DelBene.

He added: ‘We’re working closely with carmakers, including this deep partnership with Toyota, to make automobiles more intelligent with sensors, screens, connectivity and vast networks of data that will help improve the whole driving experience.’

Hicks added: ‘We’ll be able to bring you services that make your life easier, and push the technology into the background and give you those things you really want, which isn’t a blaring screen, it’s really letting people know that you’re running late for a meeting.’

By linking with other vehicles on the road, Toyota believes its cars could speak to each other to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions. Pictured is Toyota's Monet smart car screen navigation system

By linking with other vehicles on the road, Toyota believes its cars could speak to each other to provide real-time updates on traffic conditions. Pictured is Toyota’s Monet smart car screen navigation system

But such advances in connectivity of car computer systems raises concerns of cloud-connected cars being more susceptible to hackers (stock image). In 2014, hackers showed it was possible to tap into the computer systems of a Toyota Prius, in order to remotely control the braking and acceleration and other functions

But such advances in connectivity of car computer systems raises concerns of cloud-connected cars being more susceptible to hackers (stock image). In 2014, hackers showed it was possible to tap into the computer systems of a Toyota Prius, in order to remotely control the braking and acceleration and other functions

The new company will be based in Plano, Texas, and Toyota will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform to collect and analyse data from vehicles.

Others are making forays into the automotive data field, such as Google and Apple. According to MIT tech review, Android Auto can predict the vehicle’s destination based on messages in Gmail or recent Google searches, and offer suggestions for directions automatically.

However, such advances raise further concerns of cloud-connected cars being more susceptible to hackers.

In 2014, hackers showed it was possible to tap into the computer systems of a Toyota Prius, in order to remotely control the braking and acceleration and other functions, including headlights and alarm.

At the time Toyota said it was unimpressed with the hack and refuted claims that its systems were anything but ‘robust and secure’.

 

Thinking Highways
By Thinking Highways April 5, 2016 16:29