Microsoft's Steve Ballmer is introduced to his new car by Ford's Alan Mulally (Microsoft file photo)

A new partnership announced between Ford and Toyota this morning is attracting lots of attention, primarily focused on the companies’ plans to collaborate on a new hybrid-electric system for light trucks and SUVs. But also notable is the news that they plan to “collaborate on development of next-generation standards for in-car telematics and Internet-based services.”

That’s a reference to the information, communication and entertainment services that are becoming common in new cars — better known as infotainment systems.

Both companies are partners of Microsoft. The Redmond company provides the underlying technology for Ford’s Sync system and announced plans in April to collaborate with Toyota on new technology for its cars, based on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud computing platform.

In their news release, Ford and Toyota say they will “collaborate on standards and technologies needed to enable a safer, more secure and more convenient in-car experience for next-generation telematics systems.” They note that the collaboration “relates only to standards and technologies, and each company will continue to separately develop their own in-vehicle products and features.”

Still, the effort to develop common standards could be a boost to Microsoft, possibly making it easier to translate some of the fundamental work it’s doing on its automotive platform to the projects it’s pursuing with both companies.

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  • http://twitter.com/eldiablopotato eldiablopotato

    And yet Windows Phone 7 doesn’t work with Ford SYNC.

    • EldiaTroll

      Troll much?

    • Justin

      Eldiablopotato, can you elaborate more? I’ve got a Windows Phone 7 and drive a Ford F150 and they work perfect together. I’ve tested it both with nodo (WP 7.0) as wel as Mango (WP 7.5)

  • http://dinerorapidoysencillo.com/ Ganar dinero por internet

    The obvious reason for this partnership is the new CAFE regulations on light trucks.

    As this partnership is suppose to bear fruits by the end of the decade, both Toyota and Ford are concerned about the new regulations that require a CAFE EPA mileage for light trucks to get a combined 39 mpg for trucks that are 41 sq ft or smaller, and 25 mpg for trucks that are 75 sq ft or bigger (such as the F-150).

    For Ford, getting a combined 25 mpg on an F150 is going to be absolutely crucial, as its Ford (and America’s) top selling vehicle.  For Toyota, who’s truck sales volume is small and is only relevant in North America, putting a lot of R&D for trucks has poor economies of scale.

  • http://dinerorapidoysencillo.com/ Ganar dinero por internet

    The obvious reason for this partnership is the new CAFE regulations on light trucks.

    As this partnership is suppose to bear fruits by the end of the decade, both Toyota and Ford are concerned about the new regulations that require a CAFE EPA mileage for light trucks to get a combined 39 mpg for trucks that are 41 sq ft or smaller, and 25 mpg for trucks that are 75 sq ft or bigger (such as the F-150).

    For Ford, getting a combined 25 mpg on an F150 is going to be absolutely crucial, as its Ford (and America’s) top selling vehicle.  For Toyota, who’s truck sales volume is small and is only relevant in North America, putting a lot of R&D for trucks has poor economies of scale.

  • Anonymous

    Should be very interesting tosee how that all turns out. Wow.

    http://www.web-anon.at.tc

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