The biggest arrangement between Microsoft and a car company ever has been struck.
Automotive News reported about the newest in a series of deals between Microsoft and Toyota, and this time it’s a big one. Apparently, Microsoft has agreed to license several of its connected car patents to Toyota. The patents in question cover voice recognition, artificial intelligence, operating systems, and even gesture control. The cost of accessing these car patients has yet to be revealed to the public.
Toyota and Microsoft have had shared projects before as well. For the past year, these two companies have been working together on a project focused on individualization of customer experiences behind the wheel. In order to achieve this, Toyota Connected has been using Microsoft’s cloud computing platform.
Toyota probably won’t be the only company that benefits from this technology, since this is not an exclusive agreement, meaning that Microsoft has every right to offer the same agreement to other car manufacturers. That way, both Microsoft, and automakers can benefit from these deals.
Even though Microsoft is not in a car making business, and it probably never will be, it’s not surprising that the company has an interest in car connecting technologies. Developing new tech and intellectual property has become their specialty, and increased computerization of automotive industry demands just that.
Several other automakers besides Toyota have had deals and collaborations with Microsoft as well. For example, Volvo uses Microsoft’s HoloLens augmented reality system, and Microsoft’s Azure platform has been used by the Renault-Nissan alliance to flesh out its connected car services.