• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a technology partnership agreement with Microsoft Corp. for the 2017 World Rally Championship series, its president said Thursday.

Under the accord, Microsoft will assist the Toyota Gazoo racing team in developing a data analysis platform, creating a team information-sharing system and enhancing interaction with fans.

“I believe that, like Toyota, Microsoft aims to enrich society in meaningful ways,” Toyota President Akio Toyoda told reporters at the Paris Motor Show.

“Based on the ongoing partnership, we aim to further develop our people and enhance our cars through the use of IT in motorsports to promote ‘ever-better cars,'” he said.

Toyota said in January 2015 that it would return to the WRC in 2017, participating in the prestigious series for the first time in 18 years.

Toyota and Microsoft have been allies in the information technology area since 2011. In April, they jointly set up a Texas-based company called Toyota Connected Inc. to analyze the enormous amounts of driving data collected from Toyota cars and develop new services and products accordingly.

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