Microsoft Corp. announced on Wednesday that it has licensed almost all of its patents related to connected cars to the auto giant Toyota Motor Corp. This Microsoft Toyota Partnership might be the software company’s most wide-ranging intellectual property agreement with an automobile manufacturer. This collaboration will integrate many of the automaker’s global research in the fields of network security services, data analytics, and telematics. This is a significant update after the establishment of Toyota Connected in April 2016. Both the companies had previously come together and formed this organization to merge software advancement with automobile expertise. It has its headquarters in Plano, Texas in the U.S. Microsoft has a five percent share in this venture which serves as the ‘data science’ hub of the automaker.
Toyota has been working on its data science center with necessary inputs of Microsoft over the past year. This research center concentrates on fulfilling the personal preferences of a customer with the help of Microsoft’s cloud computing platform. Microsoft agreed to expand this research arm by offering numerous patents as it sees a great scope in the field of internet-connected cars. According to the Gartner Research, it has predicted that the vehicles equipped with data connectivity services will rise from 6.9 million per year in 2015 to 61 million in 2020. It also forecasts that by 2020, there will be 250 million of cumulative shipments of automobiles with data connectivity. This deal is also a signal by Microsoft to other automobile manufacturers that it is willing to expand its reach in the auto world.
Details about the Microsoft Toyota partnership
The tech giant stated on Wednesday that the deal will offer a range of technological patents. This will include Wi-Fi, car operating systems, motion sensors, navigation, and voice recognition. Microsoft isn’t the first company to provide technology for internet-connected cars. A number of tech companies such as NXP, Qualcomm, Google, and Intel see great scope in the latest car technology. The Executive Vice President of business development at Microsoft, Peggy Johnson said in a statement that the connected car technology is a great opportunity for the automakers. But at its core, it is a challenge in terms of software development. The patents of Microsoft for internet-connected cars will consist of cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, and tools to store or transfer files. Through such features, the company aims to make driving far more convenient as well as personalized in the long run.
Technology will be handy in predicting and notifying the user when the vehicle is in need of maintenance. This will help in reducing the chances of a breakdown in the middle of the road. The software will be able to anticipate the intended routes of the driver. This will be based on calendars or schedules and will also provide entertainment depending on the driver. Despite the Microsoft Toyota partnership, Microsoft is open to lending its patents to a deserving company who expresses interest in striking a similar deal. This deal might prove to be fruitful as it leaves the task on the experts of the particular department. The automobile manufacturer sticks to the production whereas the tech giant innovates data connected technology.