2018 Camry, next-gen Mazda 3 to debut new systems

Japanese automakers Mazda and Toyota are planning to collaborate on a inter-connected vehicle infotainment platform for their next-generation vehicles, according to a new report.

Following the two companies buying shareholdings in each other a month ago while announcing plans for a joint factory in the US and co-development of electric vehicles (EVs), the new article by Japan's Nikkei claims the manufacturers are set to share a core platform for in-vehicle navigation, media, and smartphone connections.

According to the report, Toyota is developing this intelligent software using the Linux operating system, and Mazda is being brought in for "further streamlining".

Despite the system being a collaborative effort, Mazda and Toyota will develop their own features and applications for their respective versions - though the "shortage" of industry-specific software developers in Japan's automotive industry prompted the companies to collaborate on the platform.

The 2018 Toyota Camry will be the first vehicle to be fitted with the core Linux-based systemNikkei says the company aims to make communications equipment a standard feature in all cars sold in the US, Japan and China by 2020.

Meanwhile, in "late fiscal 2018" - likely relating to Japan's financial year, which ends on March 31 - Mazda will introduce new vehicles offering fuel economy improvements of between 20 and 30 per cent.

Above: 2018 Toyota Camry interior

The first of these upgraded models is expected to be the Mazda Axela, known here as the Mazda 3, which is also said to be the first model in the company's range to get the new infotainment system.

Nikkei adds that Mazda's current MZD Connect system will be updated inline with the introduction of Toyota's control platform, which will also include high-speed communications hardware.

The 'zoom zoom' brand is also expected to enlist the help of Japanese phone carrier and Toyota partner, KDDI, in maintaining its communications network.