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Image: Toyota

Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) has announced the reorganization of its InfoTechnology Center research and development companies. The functions of the Tokyo-based InfoTechnology Center (ITC Japan) will be absorbed into TMC’s in-house Connected Company by March 2019, and ITC USA, California, will be incorporated into Toyota Motor North America.

ITC Japan and ITC USA, both established 2001, have been operating until now as wholly-owned subsidiaries and were set up by TMC to identify IT and technology trends and market needs. Their applied research has specialized in communication and information processing, such as high-speed network technologies and large-scale data processing, with a view to constructing a new value chain and developing and enhancing services including those related to connected vehicles. They have also been researching cloud computing, standardization and technologies for Mobility as a Service (MaaS).

A statement from TMC says that it “aims to create a unified organization that integrates applied research with service and product application… TMC intends to further build an efficient and flexible system that speeds up the development process and facilitates the rapid provision of ever-better mobility services in line with customer needs.”

Toyota will be showcasing some of its mobility solutions, including automated driving, connected mobility and MaaS, at the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo. It outlined its plans this week to support the Games with technologies including robots, personal mobility and last-mile transportation devices, and automated vehicles. Athletes and guests will be shuttled around in the e-Palette on-demand electric vehicles [pictured], and the AI-enabled ‘emotion-sensing’ Concept-i will also be demonstrated. The official transportation support will be underpinned by Toyota’s vehicle data communication modules and mobility service platform, supporting dispatching and deployment.

-Farah Alkhalisi