Microsoft Extends Toyota Partnership

Toyota Motor Corp. has inked a deal with Microsoft to license its connected vehicle patents and bring voice recognition to cars in what Automotive News calls the Redmond, Washington company's "most wide-ranging intellectual property agreement with an automaker."

The two companies began working on connected cars last year. Microsoft has partnered in the past with other automakers such as Ford Motors.

Microsoft Technology Licensing LLC was formed in 2014 to acquire, manage and license the company's patent portfolio.

Toyota and Microsoft did not disclose the specific patents being used, but a list of patents on Microsoft's Web site explains the options that automotive manufacturers have to choose from, ranging from file storage to gesture computing and security.

Erich Andersen, corporate vice president and chief IP counsel of Microsoft’s Intellectual Property Group, explained in a prepared statement that "Microsoft invests $11.4 billion annually in research and development and for more than 30 years" and has been developing technologies powering today’s connected car experiences. 

In a blog post announcing the deal, a video shows how Microsoft creates the technology to make cars better though operating systems, remote sensors, mobile and entertainment features, and voice assistants. The company has been pushing its technology platform Azure into cars.

Last year, an alliance between Nissan Motors and Renault resulted in a deal to develop a navigation and predictive maintenance service.

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