Mazda and Toyota to Share In-Vehicle Software and Hardware Systems in Cost-Saving Collaboration

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Future Mazda Models to Feature 90% Identical In-Vehicle Systems to Toyota Models

Japanese automakers Mazda and Toyota have announced a collaborative effort to develop new in-vehicle software and hardware systems, sharing the same operating system to significantly cut costs. The collaboration will extend beyond the operating system for infotainment and driver displays, encompassing electronic control units and wiring harnesses. Mazda’s upcoming battery-electric vehicles, set for launch from 2027, are expected to feature in-vehicle systems that are 90% identical to those found in Toyota models.

The joint development aims to achieve substantial cost savings in software development, a sector where significant investments are commonplace, with some manufacturers and suppliers spending up to $2 billion annually. The partnership with Toyota is anticipated to save Mazda hundreds of millions of dollars each year and could potentially reduce development costs by 70% to 80%.

In the evolving landscape of automotive technology, in-vehicle systems and infotainment operating systems are becoming increasingly crucial. Enhanced systems not only contribute to improved driver-assistance technologies but also provide opportunities for carmakers to sell content to vehicle owners. Boston Consulting Group predicts that software-defined vehicles could generate over $650 billion in value potential for the automotive industry by 2030.

The collaboration between Toyota and Mazda extends back to 2015 when they joined forces to share powertrain technologies. Over the years, their partnership has strengthened, leading to the current Mazda2 being essentially a rebadged version of the Toyota Yaris.

Mazda has ambitious plans for electric vehicles (EVs), with the company aiming to introduce seven or eight EVs in its lineup by 2030, constituting 25-40% of its global sales. These future EVs will be developed and sold through the e-Mazda division, built on a scalable platform.