Intel and Toyota just announced a joint venture to develop next-generation in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. The collaboration is specifically focused on connecting mobile devices with the car and to develop a user interaction methodology that will include touch, gestures and voice.

Staci Palmer, general manager of Intel's Automotive Solutions Division, had this to say about the research partnership:

"Intel has been conducting research related to the connected car for years, and with the support of Toyota will extend that research to advanced services that will benefit the driver and passengers in many ways. Through this joint effort, we hope to improve the driving experience by enabling a seamless connection between mobile devices and the vehicle so when brought together they naturally adapt and work in harmony."

Intel's motivation is to embed its Atom processor family into vehicles in support of the future IVI. Toyota's aim is to create the best mobile integration platform for its vehicles thereby differentiating its fleet in the eyes of potential buyers. Just last month Toyota announced Touch Life, a smartphone mirroring product from its Touch family of infotainment products.

Interestingly enough, after smartphones and tablets, Mobile Future calls the connected car the third-fastest growing device. And we've certainly seen plenty of activity from MicrosoftNokia, and others in the space. Makes you wonder how long it will take before the strategic manta of "three screens and the cloud" is extended to include car infotainment.