Toyota and NTT to collaborate on multiple ICT systems for connected cars

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Toyota and the Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) have agreed to collaborate on developing, verifying, and standardizing technology in the connected car field, combining the auto maker’s vehicle-related technologies, with the information and communication technologies (ICT) offered by the NTT Group’s companies.

The collaboration will see Toyota and the NTT Group sharing their technologies, knowledge and expertise, and making use of big data obtained from vehicles. The partners will carry out joint research and development of technologies necessary for solving various issues facing society, including traffic accidents and congestion, and for providing customers with new mobility services, aimed at realizing a sustainable ‘Smart Mobility Society’ in the future, with an emphasis on applications from a global perspective.

Toyota and NTT will collaborate on:

• Developing a platform for data collection, accumulation, and analysis: Creating technologies for building and administering a platform to realize collection and accumulation of huge amounts of vehicle information and other data received from large numbers of vehicles, for distributing large amounts of data, and for analyzing and processing the collected big data in real time;

• Building Internet of Things (IoT) networks and data centers: Studying the network topology of global infrastructure, and the optimal data center deployment necessary for safe and reliable collection and distribution of large amounts of information, based on the assumption of vehicle use cases;

• Applying next-generation communication technologies: Conducting studies to determine the optimal mobile communications system, considering vehicle use cases; perform connection tests of such systems to promote 5G standardization for vehicles; and verify the applicability of edge computing technology;

• Agents: Developing technologies for providing drivers with user-friendly services by combining driving advice based on understanding of the environment inside and outside the vehicle, voice interaction technology, and other technologies by using AI (artificial intelligence).

Based on its knowledge of vehicle use cases and data requirements on the vehicle side, Toyota will research and develop an ICT platform for connected cars, aimed at mobility service value creation.

Within the NTT Group, different divisions of the company will focus on separate areas of research: NTT DATA Corporation will develop technologies for building platform to realize collection, accumulation, and analysis of huge amounts of vehicle information; NTT Communications Corporation will establish next-generation global ICT infrastructure optimized to IoT, using its globally expanding ICT services, including a Tier 1 IP backbone, VPN and data centers; NTT DOCOMO Inc. will promote 5G standardization for vehicle use and lead the way in 5G mobile communication system trials; and NTT will conduct R&D on edge computing technology, promote international standardization, and will also use the company’s Corevo AI technology to deliver driving advice and voice interaction technologies. Toyota and NTT are planning field trials to assess the feasibility and usability of their connected car services in 2018.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since he joined the company in May 2014. Prior to this he worked on some of the UK's leading consumer magazine titles including Men's Health and Glamour, beginning his career in journalism in 1997 after graduating with a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).

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