Toyota Motor Corporation and Microsoft have announced that they will partner to bring telematics (a.k.a. the integrated use of telecommunications and informatics) to the smart grid via Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing-powered platform. Starting in 2012, Toyota customers will be able to purchase electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles that can be controlled and monitored from anywhere. For example, a vehicle owner could check their car’s systems remotely via smartphone, turn on the heat in the car when it is plugged into the grid, or monitor the battery power and range of the vehicle via the GPS system. As smart-grid technology becomes available, car owners could even tell their cars to charge at the time of day when energy is least expensive. How does cloud computing factor in?

Prius Plug-in Hybrid Concept, Smart Grid

Well, traditionally these systems were reserved for major markets such as the U.S. where the automaker could run a database to support the system. By using cloud computing power, Toyota can offer these technologies to all 170 countries it serves and only pay for the amount of services its customers use–allowing the company to stay flexible to variable demand in different markets. Technology that can go nearly anywhere equals happy Toyota owners.

+ Toyota

Via PR Newswire