Licensing agreement to further accelerate connected car tech
Microsoft has agreed to license many of its connected car patents to Toyota, expanding an existing collaboration between the two companies.
Under the licensing agreement, Toyota gains access to Microsoft’s patented car technologies, which include operating systems, cybersecurity resources, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, and gesture controls. The deal is Microsoft’s most wide-ranging intellectual property agreement with an automaker, as Automotive News points out.
“We don’t make cars, but we have a long history of working with our partners in the automotive industry to deliver great products and services that power the automotive sector,” Microsoft said in a recent release.
Last year, Toyota and Microsoft created a joint venture to accelerate research on connected cars. The collaboration formed Toyota Connected, bringing Microsoft engineers together with Toyota employees in Plano, Texas to support a broad range of data services for the automaker. Microsoft has provided its Azure cloud computing platform to Toyota and other automakers.
Toyota is the first company to join Microsoft’s auto licensing program. The patent agreement isn’t exclusive to Toyota, so other automakers may also soon have access to Microsoft’s connected car intellectual property.
Each year, Microsoft invests $11.4 billion USD in research and development for future technologies. And in all sectors, Microsoft has set up more than 1,200 licensing agreements. The company says it has been developing technologies for connected cars for more than 30 years.
Source: Microsoft, Automotive News (Subscription required)