This is no iDrive. No, Toyota isn’t out to repeat the non-success of the BMW onboard car computer. The Japanese auto giant is, however, looking to muscle in on Microsoft territory, designing a full operating system that would control a host of functions.
The Toyota approach centers on plug-ins that would be specific to each model of vehicle. The overall system would be a Toyota special, however, unlike the iDrive, which is powered by Windows CE. The approach meshes with Toyota’s overall philosophy of building from the ground up, instead of inserting add-ons from third parties. One advantage of an onboard computer system would also be the opportunity to reduce the number of systems and subroutines currently needed to perform basic functions.
An in-house team is leading the project, and the team estimates that a full working system will be commonplace by 2015.