On January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced it new Connected Vehicle Platform, a set of services built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and designed to empower auto manufacturers to create custom connected driving experiences. The company said it is not an in-car operating system, but rather a living platform based on Azure cloud to help automakers (Microsoft’s partners) to address five core scenarios: predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and help building autonomous driving capabilities.
The Connected Vehicle Platform will start with Microsoft’s Azure cloud to collect massive data from huge volumes of sensor in connected vehicles and then apply those data in multiple ways. Available as a public preview later this year, it will bring the company’s intelligent services into the connected cars, including virtual assistants, business applications, office services and productivity tools like Cortana, Dynamics, Office 365, and Skype for Business. Microsoft believes that it will help make a person’s work day more efficient and bring benefits to automakers and drivers.
Currently the Renault-Nissan Alliance has partnered with Microsoft to bring the new connected-car services to its next generation connected vehicles. Microsoft also worked with BMW to develop the BMW Connected platform on top of Azure. Both BMW and Nissan showed in-car integration with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistance at CES 2017. Think about this scenario: you ask Cortana on your Windows phone to arrange a meeting, and the time you get in your car, the in-car Cortana service will remind you about the meeting and can navigate to the location you assign.
“Microsoft is not building its own connected car,” Peggy Johnson, the Executive Vice President for Business Development, addressed in the announcement. “Instead, we want to help automakers create connected car solutions that fit seamlessly with their brands, address their customer’ unique needs, competitively differentiate their products and generate new and sustainable revenue streams.”
See the video provided by Microsoft to know how the platform works: