Toyota Motor Corp. and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is going to work together on making Toyota’s cars Internet-enabled. Microsoft and Toyota will be investing $12 million in Toyota Media Service Co., a unit of Toyota that handles digital services. Toyota will make their digital services based on Microsoft’s Azure “cloud computing” platform with a roll-out expected in 2015.
Toyota will be monitoring power usage across people’s homes and cars to maximize efficiency. For example, electric cars would be automatically charged when power rates are lower. Toyota will benefit from the partnership because they would be able to use Microsoft’s cloud platforms without having to set up their own data centers in each of the 170 countries they sell cars in. Toyota was hit hard by the earthquake and tsunami, but Toyota President Akio Toyoda said that the best way to help with Japan’s recovery is through future business opportunities.