Toyota has established a Connected Technologies group with about 100 associates that will focus on how to deliver "industry-leading user experiences and new technologies" for Toyota and Lexus vehicles, the automaker announced.

The team will consist of existing Toyota associates from units that work on connected vehicles, information systems, and research and development. Toyota has begun transitioning the employees to the new group.

Connected Technologies will be based in Plano, Texas, and report to Zack Hicks, who will continue in his roles as CIO of Toyota Motor North America and CEO of Toyota Connected North America.

"In-car, connected vehicle technology is a high priority for us because its impact on the customer experience is becoming an increasingly important factor in their purchase decisions," said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota Motor North America. "We are removing barriers among our North American teams that work on connected vehicles to create a more cohesive and empowered team to listen to and create an ever-better connected car experience for customers."