NAGOYA -- Toyota Motor plans to leverage a deeper partnership with Microsoft to step up the development of Internet-connected cars.
Microsoft, a shareholder in Toyota Media Service, has broadened its links with the automaker by investing in Toyota Connected. This subsidiary will spearhead efforts to utilize data collected from connected cars.
Toyota has also announced plans to establish an artificial intelligence research laboratory in Silicon Valley and invest $1 billion over five years. Toyota Connected is to work closely with this lab as well.
Automobiles are seen as a key component in the coming age of the Internet of Things. Some estimates show global sales of Internet-connected cars reaching 80 million a year in 2020.
Ford Motor also has come to Silicon Valley to recruit data analysis experts. And Nissan Motor formed a tie-up with Microsoft in January.