Microsoft launches a new cloud platform for connected cars
Microsoft isn’t building its own connected car — but it is launching a new Azure-based cloud platform for car manufacturers that want to use the cloud to power their own connected-car services. The new Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform will go live as a public preview later this year.
“This is not an in-car operating system or a ‘finished product’,” Microsoft’s EVP for business development Peggy Johnson writes in today’s announcement. “It’s a living, agile platform that starts with the cloud as the foundation and aims to address five core scenarios that our partners have told us are key priorities: predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and help building autonomous driving capabilities.”
Microsoft also announced that it is partnering with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to bring the new connected-car services to Renault-Nissan’s next-gen connected vehicles. The two companies were already working together on other projects before this, so it’s maybe no surprise that Renault-Nissan is Microsoft’s first partner.
Microsoft is also working with BMW to develop that company’s BMW Connected platform on top of Azure. BWM and Nissan also showed in-car integrations with Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant at CES this year, so your future car could potentially use Cortana to power its voice-enabled services. For the time being, though, it looks like these are still experiments.