Toyota Motor Corp. announced April 4 a partnership with Microsoft Corp. to develop services to “free” customers from the “tyranny of technology.”
The initial $5.5 million investment in the collaboration—Toyota Connected—will seek to consolidate Toyota’s research in data analytics, network security services and telematics, which combines computers and wireless technology to provide various services, including infotainment and live traffic updates for connected cars.
During the recent Connected Cars USA 2016 conference in Washington, lawmakers, agency officials and industry professionals said connected cars present a chance to “revolutionize mobility” but that privacy and data security issues will become persistent problems. They specifically highlighted consumer concerns over collection of geolocation data and behavioral information such as driving speed and biometric data. This type of data, however, are exactly what Toyota’s new venture will seek to collect.
According to Toyota Motor North America Chief Information Officer Zack Hicks, as technology advances, cars will have new features such as transmitting driver’s health data to a doctor or sending driving patterns to insurance companies. However, Hicks noted that drivers will be able to opt out of any or all of these services.
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