Just a year after its launch, Toyota Connected is planning to double its headcount and expand its office space at the Legacy West Urban Village, adjacent to Toyota Motor North America's new headquarters.
Toyota Connected is the data science hub for Toyota's global operations and supports a broad range of consumer-, business- and government-facing initiatives. It was created to significantly expand Toyota's capabilities in the fields of vehicle data science, machine learning and contextual data services development throughout Toyota's global operations.
Founded in April 2016, the startup initially planned to employ 100 and has already hired about 55 technologists, including data scientists, engineers and software developers. It now plans to employ 200. Toyota Connected also is adding 13,500 square feet to its existing 20,000-square-foot lease in the Urban Village office block in Plano.
"The amount of interest and demand in leveraging our big data to create new products and services has been incredible," said Zack Hicks, Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Connected, and Chief Information Officer at Toyota Motor North America. "Over the past year we've been scaling up to deliver on these new opportunities, which will significantly impact the way consumers interact with vehicles."
Toyota Connected has begun to develop Toyota's Mobility Services Platform, a global, cloud-based digital ecosystem that will enable a host of mobility services, including ride sharing, car sharing and remote delivery.
Working closely with affiliate Toyota and Lexus Financial Services, trials are also being conducted for flexible leasing and innovative payment features that will enable new and innovative uses for vehicles as the burgeoning sharing economy takes shape.
"Our mobility platform offers more functionality within the vehicle itself, but it goes way beyond that," Hicks said. "We're exploring services to manage fleets, expand ride-sharing capabilities and leverage big data to contextually and intuitively improve services for our customers to deliver an amazing experience with our Toyota and Lexus brands."
Toyota Connected is delivering these wireless services using Microsoft's cloud-based Azure platform. A division of Toyota Motor Corp., Toyota Connected provides a range of data and computer science services across operations, including support for ongoing research into artificial intelligence and robotics and the Toyota Research Institute.