Toyota the next automaker to launch vague data-centric company

Toyota Connected plans to extend its services to just about every corner of human existence, and it's expanding a partnership with Microsoft to do so.

Andrew Krok Reviews Editor / Cars
Cars are Andrew's jam, as is strawberry. After spending years as a regular ol' car fanatic, he started working his way through the echelons of the automotive industry, starting out as social-media director of a small European-focused garage outside of Chicago. From there, he moved to the editorial side, penning several written features in Total 911 Magazine before becoming a full-time auto writer, first for a local Chicago outlet and then for CNET Cars.
Andrew Krok
2 min read
Toyota Connected
Enlarge Image
Toyota Connected

Why, yes, the future of mobility does appear a bit terrifying, even if the car is only trying to open the trunk for you.


It seems like each week, another automaker spins off part of its company to deal with the fact that the automobile as it currently exists is on the way out. This time around, Toyota Connected is a new data-focused company that wants its technologies to better your life inside and outside the Japanese company's vehicles.

Based in Plano, Texas, Toyota Connected has two distinct goals -- roll out unique services and provide data analytics for groups (such as companies and governments) to support other product development. To this end, Toyota expanded its partnership with Microsoft to further its connected-car solutions.

While this might sound super vague, Toyota did supply some concrete examples of what its new company hopes to achieve. Facial recognition could "see" a driver walking towards a vehicle, identify bags in their hands and automatically open the trunk. Vehicle-to-vehicle tech could alert a driver when the road ahead is blocked and offer immediate rerouting.

Watch this: Future Toyota cars could scan your face

What most excites me is how it could solve issues related to parking. Say you're driving to the airport and need a spot close to the terminal. Toyota Connected's services could identify lots with ample available space and send you directions. Hey, anything beats circling lots until you're blue in the face.

There's more than just parking lots in the cards. Eventually, Toyota Connected wants to bring its services to multiple disciplines, including smart-city integration, fleet services and health and safety. As time goes on, it's all but inevitable that other automakers will put forth similar efforts, although some have already snagged a head start.