Toyota Connected Cars will leverage data for better driving experiences

ToyotaconnectedToyota Connected was announced in April. Now, Toyota Connected CEO Zack Hicks explains how he wants to contextualize connected cars from user data for suggestions and making drivers’ lives easier. Toyota Connected is described on its website as “Making a connected strong life a more human experience by mastering the art of predictive intelligence.” The following is excerpted from a Q&A news release.

Toyota Connected will leverage data for better driving experience. It take the data an make it work for the customer in ways that the customer wants. And customers will have to, as they do today, explicitly opt in.

When you get in your car, you shouldn’t have to program in a destination. Based on your driving patterns and preferences, we probably know where you’re going, we should just guide you there and help you avoid traffic. So that’s how we can use data to make a customer’s life better, and it’s not intrusive.

We can also tell when you’re driving outside your normal patterns. We can guess with 80 percent accuracy when you’re not going home. So how we can make that worthwhile? If we know you really like the Dallas Cowboys, and we know there’s a game that day, and you’re traveling in the general direction of the stadium, we can predict with 80 percent accuracy that you’re going to the Cowboys game. We can say, “Looks like you’re going to AT&T stadium, do you want us to route you around traffic and prepay your parking?”  If Toyota has access to your public social media posts, Toyota will know you are fan.”

We can subscribe to social media feeds, and we do that now. That way we can hear the voice of our customer. In the future as we’re building new apps, we won’t shove every app on everybody. But if we know you’re a Cowboys fan or you’re really into the arts, maybe we give you apps that are specific to those types of things that can make your life easier, instead of apps that you don’t really care about.

Toyota subscribes to the privacy principles that we’ve partnered with the U.S. government and the FTC on. Part of that commitment is being very transparent about opting in or out on us using this data. But I also think we have to tell the value story. People are willing to share their

We want to make technology easier for people. Today, there are so many apps and devices, and it’s overwhelming. Our devices should be a means to an end versus being the destination. In restaurants, you see families staring at their devices and not even talking to each other. That’s the tyranny of technology.

We aim to take the available technology and put it in the background, and then making it more of a digital concierge. Then we’re taking the device away from the person and giving them the answers that they need and more time back in their day.

This is going to push Toyota forward and to give Toyota a leg up on our competitors because they haven’t organized around the data yet. We still have a real opportunity to deliver some exciting services nobody has done before.


In is interesting to note that one aspect that Hicks describe is similar to VW’s Regular Routes that automatically knows where the driving is going and offers alternative routes when there is a lot of traffic.