Case Study

Next Generation Safety Connect

by Dharm Sidhu and Carroll Gordon
emergency assistance

Built from the ground up.

Toyota in the United States has used vehicle wireless connectivity for almost 2 decades to help provide safety, security and convenience services to their Toyota and Lexus customers. An example of these services includes:

  • Automatic Collision Notification
  • Emergency Assistance using the SOS Button
  • Stolen Vehicle Locator
  • Roadside Assistance
  • Hands Free Destination Assist

These foundational services are what is required to be competitive in today’s automotive market and as technology has evolved the scope of services has increased by allowing:

  • Customers to send vehicle diagnostic data to their servicing dealer, improving the speed of repairs and maintenance.
  • Smartphone app (and smartwatch) for customers to remotely lock and unlock their vehicle, as well as, pre heat or cool the vehicle, and confirm where they parked.
  • Real time traffic and weather information sent to vehicle’s navigation system.
  • Off board voice recognition for improved results.
  • Smart phone app integration with over the air updates.
  • Toyota engineers’ access to vehicle diagnostic data many months in advance resulting in improved vehicle quality and customer satisfaction.

The Challenge

While Toyota owns the relationship with its customers, it has always relied on third-party vendors to deliver the Telematic service listed above. This arrangement resulted in Toyota’s inability to respond to always evolving consumer expectations and lead to challenges as vehicle connectivity continues to grow in importance with connected infrastructure such as stop lights, intersection turn signals, toll booths, and vehicle to vehicle communication. This connectivity is of paramount importance for the viability of autonomous vehicles. Therefore, restrictions on Toyota’s advancement in vehicle connectivity were simply not acceptable.

The Solution

Toyota realized the long-term opportunities with vehicle connectivity are endless and they must be in control of designing its future. Therefore, it was imperative for Toyota to develop and own its vehicle connectivity capabilities.

To solve this situation, Toyota created Toyota Connected a high technology startup company to create its own Telematics Service Provider platform to launch-connected services in the Summer of 2019. By doing so Toyota is taking full ownership of the vehicle experience for millions of customers and allowing Toyota engineers to explore the future of enhanced and even predictive safety and convenience services, quickly adapting to changing consumer interests and deliver services in a way that make the customer’s lives less complicated.

Toyota Connected has partnered with industry leading Cloud solutions, Network carrier and Call Routing Infrastructure providers to help ensure premium call connectivity in the adverse situations. The Telematics Service Platform is capable of ingesting and processing the vehicle data received with great precision and presenting it to the Toyota Connected Call Center Representatives in the most efficient manner to handle the cases at hand. The platform is developed by Toyota Connected using the latest technologies and methodologies and is based on micro-services architecture and event-based messaging. The platform is highly scalable and resilient using the underlying Cloud Infrastructure and was designed to support a 2020 global rollout allowing Toyota to use this in many countries as needed, and also, supporting multiple vehicle brands. Toyota Connected has adopted the best practices like Continuous Integration (CI), Continuous Delivery (CD), Canary Releases with best of the tools, which has resulted into a highly scalable, resilient, responsive and message driven platform.

With reliable vehicle hardware, dependable call connectivity and routing, resilient back-end telematics services platform and professional call Center representatives, our Safety, Security, and Convenience services are available 24x7, 365 days across the year. There are hundreds of representatives working in 2 call center locations to provide best in class service to more than 1,000 customers per hour.

To achieve a successful launch with this significant level of service, Toyota Connected along with Toyota Motor North America performed 6 months of testing with 50 + unique vehicles performing more than 14,000 test cases resulting in 200,000 miles and 48,000 test calls. This resulted in over 2,000 improvements made just before launch.

Many believe that connectivity is a requirement now for all forms of transportation and Toyota Connected has created the foundation of Toyota’s vehicle connectivity future and will continue to use the creativity of its employees to quickly develop new services and capabilities.

The Future

“It's my goal to transition Toyota from an automobile company to a mobility company, and the possibilities of what we can build, in my mind, are endless.”

Akio Toyoda at CES, 2018

Toyota Connected was created to fast track Toyota’s transition from an automotive manufacturing company to a mobility company. Imagine autonomous mobility as a service. Well, you don’t need to imagine very long as it is already under development! With Toyota Connected owning and operating the vehicle connectivity infrastructure it now can help develop never before seen safety and convenience services to improve customer safety and to develop creative and innovative ways to ensure customer experience with vehicle technology is simple and seamless. Toyota Connected employees see the options are literally endless for what they can develop going forward. Laying the foundation for our Next Generation Safety Connect and Telematics Services was just the beginning. Our Connected Mobility Intelligence platform will be used to realize thousands of use cases worldwide. As vehicle hardware continues to evolve, through the use of vehicle data and artificial intelligence, Toyota Connected will be ready to deploy new types of life saving capabilities that were never possible before. Our journey to improve society using connected technology has only begun.

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We build technology that empowers people to move, and makes their lives easier and safer at Toyota Connected.