Toyota has announced it is to collaborate with Microsoft in the 2017 FIA World Rally Championship (WRC) series. As part of the agreement, Microsoft will serve as a ‘technology partner’ for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC rally team.
Using Microsoft technology, Toyota wants to maximise its competitiveness in WRC, while ensuring that learnings from the race course can be used to achieve the company’s vision of designing and manufacturing “ever-better cars”.
Microsoft will support Toyota Gazoo Racing in the development of a data analysis platform to gather, visualize and analyse various data related to driving which will be utilised in race activities. The partnership will see the creation of a team information-sharing system to allow team members to collaborate and share various materials such as images and videos efficiently and effectively using a cloud service.
Toyota also states that the partnership will help the enhancement of communication with WRC fans by providing services utilizing the cloud, and using Microsoft’s display devices to provide them with a front-row motorsports experience.
“I believe that, like Toyota, Microsoft aims to enrich society in meaningful ways,” said Toyota president, Akio Toyoda. “Based on the on-going partnership, we aim to further develop our people and enhance our cars through the use of IT in motorsports to promote ‘ever-better cars’.”
The Yaris WRC Test Car that was driven on the Paris Motor Show stage by 4-time WRC champion Tommi Mäkinen didn’t only reveal Microsoft as the technology partner for the Toyota Gazoo Racing WRC team. In addition to Michelin, who is the team tyre supplier, the car also carried the logos of the DMG MORI and Panasonic Corporation, two companies that relate to Toyota’s vision on motorsports, and that have partnered with Toyota for its 2017 WRC endeavour.