Google and Apple can be proud of one thing: They lifted global automakers off their collective duffs. Around the world, OEMs suddenly race to close the perceived digital gap, they are hell bent on connecting the billion or so cars on the world’s roads to the cloud. Problem for Google and Apple: One by one, OEMs announce that they will shoot for the cloud without the help of Google, or Apple. Case in Point: Toyota. Today in Tokyo, the world’s largest automaker unveiled parts of its digital strategy, and the plan has Google and Apple under also ran.
“To guarantee the safety of the customer, the manufacturer must be the platform provider,” said Shigeki Tomoyama, President of Toyota’s newly founded connected car company, which in tune with the prevailing Zeitgeist is simply called “Connected Car Company.” The platform has a likewise simple name: “Mobility Service Platform,” or MSPF for the acronym-addicted. To build that platform, Toyota did not go the simple route of calling Cupertino, or Mountain View. Toyota built its own platform.