Toyota, Microsoft Team on In-Car Tech

TOYOTA CITY, JAPAN ( TheStreet) -- Toyota ( TM) and Microsoft ( MSFT) said Wednesday they will team up to build a global platform for Toyota's next-generation telematics services.

Telematics fuses telecommunications and information technologies in vehicles and can include GPS systems, energy management and other multimedia technologies, the companies said.

The two companies said they will participate in a $12 million investment in Toyota Media Service Co., a Toyota subsidiary that offers digital information services to Toyota customers. They plan to develop applications on the Windows Azure platform -- Microsoft's corporate cloud offering -- starting with 2012 electric and plug-in vehicles, as they work towards establishing a global platform by 2015.

"As electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become more popular, such systems will rely more on telematics services for achieving efficient energy management," they said, in a prepared statement.

Microsoft shares were rising 1.51% to $26.17 following the news.

-- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C.

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