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Toyota, Microsoft Working On OnStar Competitor

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On: Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 10:41AM | By: Tim Healey


Toyota, Microsoft Working On OnStar Competitor

Toyota and Microsoft are teaming to develop a telematics system that will compete with GM's OnStar. The next-generation software will likely debut in the company's electric and plug-in vehicles next year. Details are a bit sparse at this point, but we know the system will run on the upcoming Windows Azure platform.

What we don't know if this system will be an infotainment system like Ford's Sync or Chrysler's Uconnect, or if it will be more like GM's OnStar system, which is focused on navigation and consumer assistance.

Our guess is that if the technology is good enough, it will be a combination of both. Sync has been fairly successful for Ford, and Toyota might feel that it needs something similar in order to compete. OnStar has been well-established by GM, and Toyota might also be eyeing that system (Lexus has offered a similar system). So combining the two might make sense.

What that means is that consumers might be in control of the navigation, climate, phone, and audio systems, but might still be able to punch a button for help, a la OnStar. And it's almost certain that the system would alert authorities if an accident occurred.

It will be interesting to see how Toyota ultimately presents this system.




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