How Toyota is Streamlining Connectivity In a World Full of Consumer Devices

Telem­at­ics Update sat down with Bri­an Inouye, nation­al man­ag­er tech­nol­o­gy and engi­neer­ing for Toyota’s Advanced Tech­nol­o­gy Depart­ment, to hear the lat­est on the automaker’s game plan for inte­grat­ing telem­at­ics with con­nec­tiv­i­ty solu­tions for its elec­tric vehi­cles and hybrids. Here are a few key points Inouye shared:

For Deal­ers assist­ing cus­tomers with the Toy­ota Entune or Lexus Enform mul­ti­me­dia sys­tems that link the car to appli­ca­tions and data ser­vices, it can get a bit tricky con­nect­ing the spe­cif­ic apps used by the cus­tomer. A cus­tomer might not have his user ID for his Pan­do­ra account, for exam­ple, and still expects the deal­er to be able to han­dle it. A lot of cus­tomers want an easy set up and to roll out of the deal­er­ship with all the ser­vices enabled.

How much con­sumer tech­nol­o­gy to bring into the vehi­cle is a tough ques­tion to answer. Each app requires an ini­tial set­up, user ID, and account man­age­ment. When you buy a phone or lap­top today, it takes a good hour to get the sys­tem in work­ing order. Toy­ota is work­ing hard at find­ing the right bal­ance to meet cus­tomer needs and stream­line the pur­chase process.

Toy­ota is work­ing with Ver­i­zon as its con­nec­tiv­i­ty part­ner. In this age of cloud con­nec­tion, Toy­ota and Ver­i­zon are assem­bling a mix of WiFi to Blue­tooth to embed­ded for the right lev­el of con­nec­tion. Pre­mi­um lux­u­ry buy­ers may want con­nec­tiv­i­ty all the time, while entry lev­el sub­com­pact own­ers maybe can’t afford the lux­u­ry of an embed­ded phone. They’ll want to con­nect to their own device.

Toyota’s tech­nol­o­gy plat­form part­ner­ship for com­mu­ni­ca­tions and col­lab­o­ra­tion infra­struc­ture with Microsoft from last year is deep­en­ing now as the com­pa­nies real­ize the cloud is here to stay. They’re work­ing on the right method to keep the tech­nolo­gies con­nect­ed with the cloud and back to Toy­ota. Next-gen­er­a­tion telem­at­ics ser­vices using the Win­dows Azure plat­form will play an impor­tant role.

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