Toyota North America is furthering its investment in the connected-car industry, forming a new group focused on hardware that will be installed in internet-enabled Toyota and Lexus vehicles.
The Plano-based company said the new group, called Connected Technologies, will employ 100 people including members from Toyota’s existing teams. The Plano-based group will work on connected vehicles, information systems, and research and development, and will report to Zack Hicks, Toyota North America’s chief information officer and CEO of Toyota Connected North America.
The new group will function under the “One Toyota” structure, which combines all of the company’s resources under roof in Plano. The structure was developed as part of Toyota’s consolidation and relocation into a single North American headquarters in Plano.
The news comes about 16 months after the automaker announced Toyota Connected Inc., a new company operating out of Legacy West in Plano. Toyota Connected serves as the company’s big data arm, collecting and using data for new services and products such as its Mobility Service Platform, which helps the company collaborate with service providers. Four months ago, Toyota Connected doubled its employee count from 100 to 200 people and expanded its office space.
With its new Connected Technologies group, the company has stakes in software and hardware for connected vehicles.
“Our new team will double-down our efforts on connected vehicles so we can provide our Toyota and Lexus customers a more human experience,” Hicks said in a release. “Connected vehicles are the next step in a personalized driving experience, emphasizing your preferences as a driver thanks to better technology, improving the customer’s ownership experience over time.”