Business / Tech

Toyota, KDDI team up to develop global platform for networking cars

Kyodo

Toyota Motor Corp. and KDDI Corp. will establish a global communications platform to promote the spread of connected cars in Japan and elsewhere, the companies said Thursday.

The automaker plans to develop a uniform data communication module that can be used globally by 2019, and that nearly all its vehicles sold in Japan and the United States will be equipped with by 2020.

Over time, the automaker also aims to install the equipment in a range of vehicles for sale in other foreign markets.

In conjunction with major mobile and fixed-line carrier KDDI, the two firms hope to make the technology available to other companies to promote the use of the communications platform.

KDDI, which has partnerships with over 600 telecommunications companies around the world, will operate the platform, which it and Toyota intend to provide high-quality, low-cost communications globally.

Data communications modules will be connected automatically with telecommunications carriers in different countries, the two companies said.

Automakers have been stepping up efforts to introduce networked cars so vehicle data can be transmitted instantly and used for a variety of purposes.

For example, Toyota and Honda Motor Co. analyzed driving data collected from their vehicles and made online maps showing which roads were accessible in the aftermath of the earthquakes in Kumamoto Prefecture in April.

The industry hopes a wider network will prove useful in providing and gathering accurate information on traffic jams and accidents.

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