Ever since Azure was released to public, Microsoft has been trying hard to showcase adoption trends. In spite of their best efforts, they couldn’t slow down the momentum Amazon Web Services has in the cloud services space. Even though they highlighted some customers during last PDC, pundits are skeptical about the kind of impact Azure is having in the market. Today Microsoft announced a big customer for Windows Azure with the hope that they could turn the tide in their favor. They are showcasing how Toyota Motors is using Windows Azure to build their next generation of Telematics services.
Telematics platform is a mission critical platform because it fuses the telecommunications and information technologies in their vehicles. It encompasses the GPS system, energy management and other multimedia systems making it a critical component for the functioning of their vehicles. As they develop more and more applications on top of this platform in the future, they need a highly scalable and robust backend to deliver these services. Toyota thinks Windows Azure can satisfy these needs and they are hoping that the high scalability available with Azure cloud service can help them meet any sudden spike in the demands.
Toyota is working with Microsoft develop and deploy telematics on Windows Azure platform which includes Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure. This platform is expected to support their electric and plugin hybrid services by 2012 and support all their automotive worldwide by 2015. As a part of their smart-grid activities to achieve lower carbon footprint, they plan to link people, automotive and home into an integrated control for energy consumption. Cloud computing is a perfect fit to achieve this goal and Toyota is hoping that Azure will help them with their Telematics service to achieve efficient energy management.
Even though this is a big win for Microsoft’s cloud platform, I would extrapolate it to claim that this is a big win for cloud in general. Toyota is clearly showcasing a very good use case for cloud computing and the fact that they trust cloud computing for a critical service like Telematics. It will be interesting to see how this project plays out in the coming year.
- Microsoft, Toyota to announce collaboration (inautonews.com)