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Microsoft unveils connected vehicle platform

Published 06 January 2017

Tech giant Microsoft has unveiled a new connected vehicle platform to help automakers transform cars.

The platform was unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Microsoft has entered into a strategic alliance with Renault-Nissan to develop next-generation technologies for connected vehicles.

The tech firm said the new platform is neither an in-car operating system nor a finished product and noted that is a living and agile platform that begins with cloud as a foundation and plans to address key priorities of vehicles.

With the new platform, it is expected that Renault-Nissan could be the first user of the Connected Vehicle Platform.

At the CES 2017 keynote, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn also noted that the automaker is working on a new technology called seamless autonomous mobility (SAM) and will be partnering with Microsoft to build next-generation connected vehicle technologies.

Apart from Renault-Nissan, Microsoft has also been partnering with other automakers. It has partnered with BMW to develop Azure-based technologies for in-car productivity services. Recently, it helped Volvo Cars in integrating Skype for Business in its 90 Series cars.

Microsoft Business Development executive vice president Peggy Johnson noted that in the near future, Microsoft’s Cortana could seamlessly connect a person, whether at home or in a car, help schedule and remind about meetings.

Last month, Microsoft has also partnered with location-based service providers such as HERE, TomTom and Esri to develop more intelligent location-based services.

Peggy Johnson said: “Using our platform, automakers and suppliers can benefit from the billions of dollars we’ve already invested in the cloud.

“Azure offers more than 200 services available in 38 worldwide datacenter regions, with robust measures for security and the global compliance and privacy regulations that are required to support connected cars, letting automakers focus on innovation rather than building out their own cloud-based infrastructure.”

She also noted that whenever, there is a disruption in any industry, businesses should not go into survival mode, but should seize it as an opportunity.


Image: Microsoft announces Azure-powered connected car platform. Photo: Courtesy of Nissan.