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Toyota, Microsoft Launch New Partnership

Targeting software to improve efficiency of electric vehicles.

by on Apr.06, 2011

The Toyota RAV4-EV will likely be one of the first models to benefit from the maker's new partnership with software giant Microsoft.

Toyota and Microsoft have announced a new partnership, the automotive and software giants planning to develop new technology they believe can improve the efficiency of battery-powered automobiles.

Squeezing the maximum mileage out of an electric vehicle – while minimizing the impact on performance and comfort could make the difference between a successful product and an also-ran, industry officials contend.

“This new partnership between Microsoft and Toyota is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world. Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda, during a news conference simultaneously held in Toyota City, Japan, and Redmond, Washinton.

“To achieve this,” added Toyoda, “it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”

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The partners revealed plans to invest 1 billion yen, or $11.7 million, to develop a new telematics system based on the Windows Azure mobile operating platform.  They suggested that the technology could have numerous applications, ranging from improved navigation to in-car information services – as well as improving the energy management in a battery-based vehicle.