Toyota, Panasonic Forming JV for “Connected” Homes, Cars

Toyota Motor Corp. and Panasonic Corp. say they will merge their town development businesses in January into a joint venture that will develop connected services for homes and vehicles.

Called Prime Life Technologies Corp., the new company will apply Internet of Things technology to integrate household devices with advanced personal mobility services. the companies say that Mitsui & Co. may become an equity participant in the Tokyo-based venture.

The companies predict that new approaches to personal mobility, coupled with dramatically expanded connectivity, will redefine the attractiveness of cities in terms of service infrastructure rather than location.

Toyota President Akio Toyoda says his aim for the venture is to provide “a new kind of lifestyle” for “smart” cities that involves connected cars, public transportation and housing. Panasonic President Kazuhiro Tsuga says the partnership will “offer new value in everyday life.”