At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Microsoft announced the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, a set of services built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and designed to empower auto manufacturers to create custom connected vehicles.
This is not an in-car operating system or a "finished product;" it's a platform that starts with the cloud as the foundation and aims to address five core scenarios: predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and help building autonomous driving capabilities.
Microsoft's cloud will do the heavy lifting by ingesting huge volumes of sensor and usage data from connected vehicles, and then helping automakers apply that data in powerful ways.
Available as a public preview later this year, it brings Microsoft's intelligent services from across the company right into the car, including virtual assistants, business applications, office services and productivity tools like Cortana, Dynamics, Office 365, Power BI and Skype for Business.
The Renault-Nissan Alliance has chosen to work with Microsoft, becoming the first auto manufacturer to commit to the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform. In Nissan's CES keynote at CES, the company announced that through Microsoft's partnership with the Renault-Nissan Alliance, Microsoft's platform will power next-generation, connected vehicles with avigation, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring of car features and more. Nissan also demonstrated on stage how Cortana can enhance a driver's experience. In addition, Azure offers the flexibility and choice to build a common platform for Renault-Nissan to deploy services to both Alliance brands by supporting devices and vehicles that run on multiple operating systems, programming languages and tools.
Last week, Microsoft announced that Volvo will integrate Skype for Business in its 90 Series cars. Microsoft has also partnered with BMW on BMW Connected, the automaker's personal mobility companion service, to develop a scalable platform based on Microsoft Azure technologies to deliver in-car productivity services through Office 365, as well as intelligent personal assistance for drivers.