At CES 2017, Microsoft made significant progress in developing its automotive vision, revealing numerous partnerships across the car industry. The week started with hints from Nissan about exciting news to be announced regarding Microsoft's Cortana digital assistant, and has finished with detailed news about the company's Connected Vehicle Platform.
The Connected Vehicle Platform is an Azure-powered service developed by Microsoft to help automakers deal with this era of always-connected customers. As explained by the company in a press release:
"The infrastructure and scale required to build a connected car is incredibly complicated, expensive and resource intensive. At its core, it’s a software challenge, and a chief obstacle for these brands is integrating the complex cloud technology required to deliver next-generation driving experiences."
The Azure platform, a $15 billion investment in 38 regions and with more than 200 services available worldwide, is Microsoft's powerful cloud solution and one of its biggest bets for the future. It's in the core of the current company's motto: "Cloud first, Mobile first." So it's no surprise that Microsoft wants to encourage every possible industry to harness its power, and the multi-billion dollar auto industry is no exception.
So, what is the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform? According to the company, it offers an open, flexible and consistent approach for automakers. OEMs are free to use the hardware and software they choose, and the platform is designed to evolve, and incorporate the latest technologies as they develop.
Microsoft also gave some sample scenarios in which those technologies might be able to simplify customers' lives. For example, the vehicle would be able to collect battery usage data over time and send it to the cloud. That data would then be processed by machine learning analysis and provide a predictive service recommendation to the user through their smartphone and in-car infotainment system. Such technology could, for example, help the user to avoid "suffering through a dead battery in the dead of winter."
Automakers are already showcasing their connected car visions making use of Microsoft's Connected Vehicle Platform. Both BMW and Nissan have used CES 2017 to showcase their latest automotive products using Microsoft's technologies.
Source & Images: Microsoft Blog