Microsoft’s in-car entertainment and navigation systems might be cropping up in future Toyota and Lexus cars as well as Fords, Kias and others, with the news that the company has signed a cross-licensing agreement with DENSO Corp. Not a household name, certainly, but DENSO are responsible for much of the tech in Toyota cars (and their luxury Lexus cousins); thanks to this new agreement they’ll get access to Microsoft’s auto-drive and navigation technology.
In return, Microsoft will gain access to DENSO’s patents, though neither company is specifying which, exactly, these include. However, a quick glance at DENSO’s site shows they specialise in image recognition, stereo image processing, gaze tracking, drowsiness monitoring and remote security systems, together with integrating high-resolution LCD TFT displays with instrument clusters.
No word on the legal details of the agreement, but DENSO is apparently paying Microsoft for their assistance rather than the other way around. You can all make your hybrid blue-screen-of-death/stuck-gas-pedal jokes now.