Microsoft announces connected car patent licensing deal with Toyota


Microsoft is going the way of Google in its pursuit for connected cars, and that way is a patent licensing partnership with a major automaker.

Toyota is the first automaker to join Microsoft’s auto licensing program, which includes access to Microsoft-developed navigation, entertainment and voice recognition features. 

While Toyota has’t revealed exactly what it plans to use these patents for, the company will be able to licence Microsoft’s intellectual property around connected vehicles.

“The connected car represents an enormous opportunity for the auto industry, and at the core it’s a software challenge. Our mission is to empower car makers with technology that allows them to focus on building even better driving experiences for their customers,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development at Microsoft

These automotive plans seem scaled back from what Microsoft was putting forth years ago. The company put forth its Windows in the car concept three years ago and was never able to bring it to fruition.

Microsoft hasn’t placed itself in competition with Google and Apple in the race to develop driverless cars, though it has said that it wants to help power them.

Harman announced last year that it would include Office 365 in its infotainment systems, and both Nissan and BMW intend to bring Microsoft’s Cortana to their cars as well.

Source: Microsoft