Toyota bares software development plans for future models

next-gen-lexus-nx-8

Toyota and Lexus recently laid out their software development plans for future  models. The plans include a new operating system and a boost in software production. 

Chief Product Integration Officer at Toyota Keiji Yamamoto said that Toyota will launch its Arene Operating System within the next five years. The OS will first appear in the new Lexus NX later this year, with over-the-air (OTA) updates for the two brands following soon after. 

Yamamoto also said that around 10 million vehicles in the Toyota Group are currently "connected" cars. These cars are located in Japan, the United States, Europe, and China. Among these OTA-compatible cars are the Lexus LS500h and the Toyota Mirai fuel cell sedan.

The Arene OS will also be offered to other companies, as it will be positioned to be the equivalent of Apple iOS and Microsoft Windows for cars, as per the manufacturer. Arene, developed by Toyota's artificial intelligence and automated driving arm Woven Planet, is promised to deliver convenience and driving efficiency features.

lexus NX 2022

With the OTA updates to the NX, Yamamoto said that will cut the time gap of introducing new features on Toyota/Lexus cars in other regions. OTA updates will bring various multimedia and driving aid functions. The Japanese carmaker also saw that such features will drive the brand to carbon neutrality. 

One such feature is the NX's Predictive Efficient Drive. Called a "geofencing feature," it studies driver's behavior and traffic, then tweaks the battery performance and capacity depending on the situation it has assessed. Predictive Drive is intended for the hybrid electric cars in the Toyota Group, with the goal to save as much battery charging as possible. 

To make the software development possible, Yamamoto said that there are around 3,000 people involved at the Woven Planet and Toyota Connected tech labs. When the entire group is taken into account, the number of workers involved with software increases to more than 18,000. 

Toyota-Software

The number of semiconductors in each vehicle necessitates the workforce of such a scale. According to Yamamoto, a modern car is fitted with up to 1,000 semiconductors, and 50 electronic control units (ECU).

As more features are fitted to cars at present, the chips and ECUs will need 8,000 lines of code by 2025. In the early 2000s, the carmaker estimated that less than 500 lines of code were used. 

Photos from Toyota, Lexus

Also read:

Toyota and Eneos to make carbon neutrality a possibility for Woven City

Lexus has now sold 2-M electrified vehicles

Parts shortage pushes Toyota to adjust Japan production

 

 

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