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Toyota, NTT announce partnership on connected cars

Japanese duo to employ 5G, big data and AI

TOKYO -- Toyota Motor and Nippon Telegraph & Telephone announced on Monday a partnership regarding connected cars -- vehicles equipped with Internet access and a wireless local area network. The two giants will collaborate on high-speed wireless technology in order to accelerate commercialization of safer self-driving vehicles.

Starting next year, the two companies will develop technology for connected cars based on 5G. The initiative also calls for big-data analytics and artificial intelligence applications.

Joining NTT's research institute will be mobile services arm NTT Docomo as well as group companies such as NTT Data and NTT Communications. By leveraging its partnership with Toyota, NTT hopes to make its presence felt in automotives, an area where it has been lagging behind. 

Compared with 4G used for cellphones, next-generation 5G will increase connectivity speeds tenfold by employing higher frequencies. Toyota and Docomo intend to promote 5G as the standard for the auto industry.

As a leading developer of 5G, NTT is part of international standards negotiations for the technology, which the industry expects to roll out in 2020. 5G is seen as crucial for development of the internet of things, or IoT, which is attracting much attention from the auto industry.

NTT also plans to contribute its expertise in artificial intelligence, which is essential for autonomous cars.

Toyota is already collaborating with domestic cellphone carrier KDDI to develop connected cars via 4G. The automaker will continue cooperating with KDDI on 5G as well.

(Nikkei)

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