The first carmaker to jump onto the Internet of Things industrial revolution bandwagon has announced a new network it plans to connect all its vehicles to. Toyota in collaboration with Japanese telecommunications company, KDDI Corp., will be connecting vehicles to the cloud. The companies want to design a "uniform data communication module" that can be used to connect cars globally and will be installed in cars in Japan and the United States by 2020. The automaker has expressed a desire to move the technology into global markets after they meet their goals in Japan and the US.
Toyota and KDDI hope to make the technology available to other companies that might be able to connect their vehicles and products to the unified network. KDDI reportedly has ties with 600 other telecommunications companies who will also utilize the network.
The communication network will use country-specific carriers to host the network
Shigeki Tomoyama, a senior officer at Toyota, said: "Communications technology is essential to enhance vehicle connectivity and Toyota has been making efforts in this field for years. The joint establishment of this global communications platform with KDDI will help us offer a more stable and higher quality connectivity service to customers all over the world."
Toyota could send alerts and data to their cloud-connected vehicles so traffic jams or accidents could be reported and avoided by motorists. Along with that, the data the car produces through its sensors would also be uploaded to the cloud and a driver might be able to peruse the data of how well their car is performing. The possibilities are endless, and more car brands - namely Volvo - are working on networks to connect their cars to.
Another networking endeavour Toyota has been working with is the Land Cruiser Emergency Network. Toyota says they sell more Land Cruisers in Australia than any other place in the world and a lot of these vehicles are driving in the network-less Australian Outback. The Land Cruisers can now be connected together with a device that can create an emergency mobile hotspot. So if someone is in distress they can send a distress signal out and the Land Cruisers can pick it up. Then the Land Cruisers can bounce the signal off of each hotspot until it reaches an emergency service that can assist with rescue efforts. Check the video below to see how the technology was engineered: