Skip to main content

Toyota Connected is making the driving experience more seamless than ever

2017 Toyota Prius Prime
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Your car may soon be in the running to become your best friend, especially if your car is of the Toyota variety. On Monday, the Japanese automaker unveiled new plans to bring smart technology into the driver’s seat right next to you, thanks to a new partnership with Microsoft and, just maybe, a bit of competition with BMW (who also recently launched a smart car system).

Known as Toyota Connected, the automaker notes that the novel system “builds on Toyota’s global vision of a future of mobility that is clean, safe, and convenient,” relying upon Microsoft Azure’s cloud technology system to power up 21st-century driving. Ultimately, the partnership hopes to give rise to a more humanized driving experience — because what could be more human than a machine talking back at you?

The impressive new system goes far beyond the scope of even most modern connected car systems — with a steering wheel that will monitor your heartbeat, a seat that doubles as a scale, and a virtual assistant whose predictive analytics capabilities can not only determine where you’re going, but how best to get there, it seems like Toyota Connected plans to take all the thought out of driving.

“Toyota Connected will help free our customers from the tyranny of technology. It will make lives easier and help us to return to our humanity,” said Zack Hicks, chief executive officer of Toyota Connected and chief information officer at Toyota Motor North America. “From telematics services that learn from your habits and preferences, to use-based insurance pricing models that respond to actual driving patterns, to connected vehicle networks that can share road condition and traffic information, our goal is to deliver services that make lives easier.”

Included in these services are insurance coverage and rates based on your driving patterns, connected vehicle networks that allow cars to actually communicate with one another about road conditions, and even the ability to connect your car to your smart home — it’s like you’ll always be sitting in mission control, no matter where you are.

“Toyota is taking a bold step creating a company dedicated to bringing cloud intelligence into the driving experience,” said Kurt DelBene, executive vice president for corporate strategy and planning at Microsoft. “We look forward to working with Toyota Connected to harness the power of data to make driving more personal, intuitive, and safe.”

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Google Maps might make gaming more real than ever
Google's Logo

Google will now let all mobile gaming developers use its Google Maps software for gaming development, which means gamers might see more of their games show up in real life.

Google announced more than two years ago that some development studios would be able to use Google Maps APIs to take gaming to the real world. Now, it's expanding that ability to all mobile game developers, according to Google's blog.

Read more
Psychologists say using emojis is more important than ever right now. Seriously
emoji on laptop

Whether it’s being able to freely walk outside, shop for supplies without feeling like you’re in a scene from Mad Max, or just enjoy a booming economy, there’s plenty to miss about the pre-coronavirus world. But face-to-face communication with friends and colleagues is something a lot of us are missing out on as well. Sure, an email sent from your couch can substitute for chatting by the office water cooler in terms of factual content, it still misses out on some of the more nuanced shades of personal communication favored by humans.

For that reason, researchers from the U.K.’s University of Chichester have an idea that, on the face of it, sounds kind of wacky:We should make up for the 93% of communication cues that are lost when messaging online, compared to speaking with colleagues face to face, by using emojis. Like, lots of emojis.

Read more
VR is making medical training cheaper, better, and more accessible than ever
vr medical training virti surgery simulation mediaca realities 2

Sometimes, location is everything.

When Dr. Eric Bing started working at Dallas’ Southern Methodist University (SMU), the person in the office next to his would give him a new perspective on how virtual reality can be instrumental in teaching medical students.

Read more