IBM announced that Toyota has selected Big Blue to create a new application development platform for mobile app developers to begin building interactive apps for Toyota vehicles.
The new platform will foster the creation of in-car services to improve the driver experience, IBM said. The project is part of Toyota's new telematics service, called T-Connect, and aims to accelerate application development and deployment as well as enhance in-car services that will shape the future of connected vehicles.
Toyota and IBM will work together to create an onboard devices and application development environment for Toyota Open Vehicle Architecture. This development platform will bring together an ecosystem of mobile app developers and content providers who provide content for T-Connect. Using the IBM platform, app developers and content providers will be able to better collaborate on building and designing apps for in-car services.
"As the industry continues to move toward bringing fully connected vehicles to market, new requirements for leveraging innovations in technologies like mobile continue to emerge," said Dirk Wollschläger, general manager of the global automotive industry business at IBM, in a statement. "The connected vehicle transformation will require collaboration across disciplines. We are proud to start on that path with Toyota and nurture the power of its thriving ecosystem."
A report issued by the GSM Association (GSMA) and conducted by research firm SBD projects that the global connected vehicle market is expected to be worth nearly $53 billion in 2018, up from $17 billion in 2012. As the automotive industry continues to produce new vehicles with advanced in-car technology, the demand for developers is increasing as automakers ramp up their development efforts to create apps for the next generation of connected vehicles.
Big Blue officials said the Toyota app dev platform built by IBM will offer a software development kit (SDK) for developers of onboard device applications. The software allows onboard devices to work on a single application platform, making it easier and faster to design and develop applications. By using an emulator, developers can smoothly transition from a test environment to execution of applications on onboard devices for debugging.
IBM will employ its IBM Lotus Expeditor for Automotive middleware as part of the process. This middleware helps to create composite applications. It provides client integration tools to deploy and manage composite applications. IBM delivers IBM Lotus Expeditor for Automotive for the open in-car application development and deployment platform with features including runtime environment and lifecycle management for onboard-device applications, multiple application control, access to vehicle-specific services, user and license management and more, the company said.