At CES 2017, multinational tech giant, Microsoft has announced the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, a set of services built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and designed to help auto manufacturers create custom connected driving experiences.
According to the company the platform is not an in-car operating system or a product but a living, agile platform that starts with the cloud as the foundation and aims to address five core scenarios, which according to Microsoft’s partners are key priorities:
Improved in-car Productivity
Help building autonomous driving capabilities
Microsoft claims that its cloud will do the heavy lifting by ingesting huge volumes of sensor and usage data from connected vehicles, and then help automakers apply that data in different ways.
The software giant has states that the platform will be available as a public preview later in 2017 and will bring Microsoft’s intelligent services such as virtual assistants, business applications, office services and productivity tools like Cortana, Dynamics, Office 365, Power BI and Skype for Business into the car.
Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President, Business Development, Microsoft said in a blogpost, “The car is more than just a ride between two places — it is a hub of activity for daily life. People are looking to have truly connected experiences in their cars so that they can get more done, save time and make life easier. While safety and security are baseline requirements, our services can help make a person’s work day more efficient.”
“For instance, imagine that Cortana seamlessly connects you whether you’re at home or in your car. Let’s say you’re on your phone at home and tell Cortana to set up a meeting for you and your colleague the next morning at a coffee shop. The next time you get in your car, Cortana reminds you of the morning meeting and starts navigation to get you to that coffee shop.”
Automobile collaborations & integrations
According to the company, at CES 2017, the Renault-Nissan alliance become the first automobile manufacturer to commit to the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform. The auto manufacturer will use the platform to power next-generation, connected vehicles with advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and remote monitoring of car features.
Where Nissan demonstrated how Cortana can enhance a driver’s experience. Volvo also recently announced the integration of Skype for Business in its 90 series vehicles. BMW too rolled in Microsoft for its BMW Connected personal mobility companion service, to develop a scalable platform based on Microsoft Azure technologies.
Microsoft the enabler?
“Microsoft is not building its own connected car. Instead, we want to help automakers create connected car solutions that fit seamlessly with their brands, address their customers’ unique needs, competitively differentiate their products and generate new and sustainable revenue streams,” added Johnson.
“Ultimately, Microsoft aspires to empower automakers in their goals for fully autonomous driving, with sophisticated machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities, as well as advanced mapping services. In fact, just last month we announced that through new and existing relationships with TomTom, HERE and Esri, together we will create more intelligent location-based services across Microsoft.”
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