Our vehicles are no longer a chunk of metal with an engine and plush seats. It is becoming increasingly connected to the internet to better understand and interpret the surrounding to provide an enhanced riding experience. And Microsoft is now aiming to bring a similar experience to all automakers. Thus, Redmond has announced their new auto licensing program and signed on Toyota as the first partner.

Commenting on the licensing initiative, Peggy Johnson, executive VP of Business Development at Microsoft said,

The connected car represents an enormous opportunity for the auto industry and at the core it’s a software challenge. Our mission is to empower car makers with technology that allows them to focus on building even better driving experiences for their customers.

With this program, Microsoft is leading a significant initiative where it’ll enable automotive giants to gain access to their treasure trove of patents. The Redmond giant believes there is no use sitting on hot cakes and not employing the same towards the upliftment of this technology, as well as mobility revolution. And Microsoft is further building upon its existing partnership with Toyota through the said agreement. The Japanese automaker has already adopted the Azure cloud computing services to compute their data and develop new connected solutions.

On being the very first partner, Tokuhisa Nomura, executive GM of Toyota’s Advanced R&D and Engineering Company said,

This is an exciting time in the industry, and we believe that to create the best, most immersive connected car experiences, automotive makers should partner with technology leaders like Microsoft. Through this patent partnership between Toyota and Microsoft, we will be able to innovate faster to deliver new, contextual and immersive experiences to our customers.

The licensing agreement, which Toyota has signed, is said to include multiple patents for an in-car operating system, motion sensors, voice recognition, Wi-Fi connectivity, telemetry, and also navigation. It is inviting other automotive giants to sign up for its licensing program to access cyber security and artificial intelligence tools that’ll enable them to accelerate the development of future connected cars.

They are now aiming to make the experience of traveling in such vehicles intuitive and personalized. Microsoft believes that connected vehicles should be able to communicate you with every minor detail of your vehicle. It should not only be able to predict when the cars require maintenance but also update the driver with best routes and entertainment options based on their calendar appointments and interests respectively.

Google is doing something very similar to Microsoft’s licensing program, where instead of building a vehicle it is now partnering with automakers to test its self-driving tech. Erich Andersen, corporate VP and chief IP counsel of Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Group comments on the same as under:

Microsoft doesn’t make cars; we are working closely with today’s car companies to help them meet customer demands, and we’re pleased today to announce the licensing of our patented technology to our partner, Toyota.


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