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Automotive data traffic is expected to grow 10,000 times in the next 8 years (Photo: Denso)

Toyota Motor has formed a partnership with Denso, Ericsson, Intel and NTT to better handle the huge data volumes that are expected to move in and out of tomorrow's cars.

The carmaker also said it had formed a dedicated "Connected Technologies" unit for its North American division.

The big data consortium's objective is "to develop an ecosystem for connected cars to support emerging services such as intelligent driving, the creation of maps with real-time data and driving assistance based on cloud computing," Toyota said in a press release.

The backdrop for the initiative is formed by expectations that, by 2025, data volumes between vehicles and the cloud will be 10,000 times higher than today. That means systems will have to handle 10 exabytes of data a month.

"This expected increase will trigger the need for new architectures of network and computing infrastructure to support distributed resources and topology-aware storage capacity," the consortium said.

The group won't focus on merely increasing network capacity to meet tomorrow's needs. Instead, it will rely on edge computing, a technology that processes data at the edge of a network rather than in the cloud. Networks can also be designed more efficiently, the group said.

The consortium, which plans to invite other technology companies to join, will define requirements and focus in particular on the use of mobile devices.

Denso is one of the world's biggest automotive suppliers, Ericsson is a major networks provider, Intel is the world's largest chipmaker and NTT is Japan's largest telecommunications group.

Separately, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) said it had formed a new unit that will provide connected technologies for its vehicles.

“In-car, connected vehicle technology is a high priority for us because its impact on the customer experience is becoming an increasingly important factor in their purchase decisions,” TMNA CEO Jim Lentz said.

The Connected Technologies unit, which will be based at Toyota's US headquarters in Plano, Texas, will report to TMNA CIO Zack Hicks.

“Our new team will double-down our efforts on connected vehicles so we can provide our Toyota and Lexus customers a more human experience,” he said in a statement. "Connected vehicles are the next step in a personalized driving experience, emphasizing your preferences as a driver thanks to better technology, improving the customer’s ownership experience over time.”

-By Arjen Bongard