Thailand can become auto software hub, says Toyota

Thailand’s automobile industry has the potential to become a hub for automobile software development in the Asia-Pacific region, a goal that would be in line with Thailand 4.0, the national development to promote innovation and advanced technologies, the head of Toyota’s software development subsidiary said last week.

The technical skills of software development engineers in Thailand are comparatively high among countries in the region, said Koichi Okoshi, president and chief executive officer of Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics (Thailand).  The company’s main business is developing in-vehicle embedded software. The firm is already using Thailand as a base for its automotive software development and it exports software developed in Thailand back to Japan.

Atsushi Aoki, president of the parent firm in Japan, said that Japan and Thailand have grown together for the past 15 years, especially in developing and building hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles, which utilize embedded software developed by his company.

Thailand is a logical choice as a development hub for Toyota Tsusho Nexty Electronics, or NETH. The Kingdom is home to production facilities for virtually every Japanese carmaker, the Big Three American auto manufacturers and most major European vehicle companies. The size of the Thai auto-manufacturing industry has earned significantly.

Thailand is also striving to upgrade its auto-manufacturing industry to the next level of technologies and research and development. The Board of Investment is promoting construction of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles, along with battery makers and charging station networks. Electric vehicles represent a tiny portion of the market in Thailand right now, but it is steadily growing.
Okoshi said his NETH would do its best to bring autonomous driving to Thailand and promote its use.

Masami Ikura, NETH’s chief technology officer, said his company is committed to helping Thailand become the hub for automotive software development in the Asia-Pacific region and would work with Thai universities to produce the human resources needed to achieve that goal.

“We are playing a great role in nurturing excellent engineers of tomorrow, by providing them opportunities to get a great deal of experience in our company,’’ Ikura said. “Those experiences will help them become key players for enhancing their presence in Thailand in the future. To that end, we would spare no effort to provide cooperation for cultivating embedded system engineers in major universities in Thailand.”

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