Toyota, NTT collaborate on ICT platform R&D for connected cars to create smart mobility society

Toyota Motor Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone (NTT) have agreed to collaborate on developing, verifying, and standardizing technology in the connected car field, combining the automotive vehicle-related technologies of Toyota with the information and communication technologies (ICT) of NTT Group companies.

A field trial is planned for next year to assess the feasibility and usability of representative services in the connected car field.

The platform for data collection, accumulation, and analysis creates technologies for building and administering a platform to realize collection and accumulation of huge amounts of vehicle information and other data received from large numbers of vehicles, for distributing large amounts of data, and for analyzing and processing the collected big data in real time.

The IoT networks and data centers will study the network topology of global infrastructure and optimal data center deployment necessary for safe and reliable collection and distribution of large amounts of data, based on assumption of vehicle use cases.

Using next-generation communication technologies such as 5G and edge computing, the platform will conduct studies to determine the optimal mobile communications system considering vehicle use cases and perform connection tests of such systems to promote 5G standardization for automotive vehicles, and verify the applicability of edge computing technology.

The platform also aims to develop technologies for providing drivers with user-friendly services by combining driving advice based on understanding of the environment inside and outside the vehicle, voice interaction technology, and other technologies by using AI (artificial intelligence).

Toyota and the NTT Group will share their technologies, knowledge and expertise, and making use of Big Data obtained from automotive vehicles, will carry out joint research and development of technologies necessary for solving various issues facing society, including traffic accidents and congestion, and for providing customers with new mobility services, aimed at realizing a sustainable Smart Mobility Society in the future at global level.

Toyota and Microsoft joined in April last year to create a world where cars are giant smartphones that users can ride in, with a virtual assistant that knows the best route to take, whom to notify if traffic will delay when late for a meeting, what blood pressure is doing during stop-and-go, and what restaurants at the next exit might be most to the user’s liking.

Toyota also announced creation of a new company called Toyota Connected to serve as the carmaker’s data science hub as it seeks to connect cars to people’s daily lives. Toyota Connected will be evaluating and developing a myriad of technologies.

Microsoft’s Azure will be the cloud computing platform, providing a hybrid solution for everything Toyota Connected creates as it works to make driving more personal, more intuitive and safer.

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