Microsoft has clinched a deal for its connected vehicle platform, with Renault-Nissan Alliance choosing its software to power their autonomous driving vehicles.
The partnership is expected to boost Microsoft’s prospects in auto technology, where its rivals Google and Apple are fast expanding.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the technology giant launched the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform, which is designed to empower auto manufacturers to create custom connected driving experiences.
The platform is built on the Microsoft Azure cloud and will be available as a public preview later this year.
Microsoft said in blog: “This is not an in-car operating system or a “finished product;” 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.”
The platform offers Microsoft’s intelligent services for vehicles, including virtual assistants, business applications, office services and productivity tools like Cortana, Dynamics, Office 365, Power BI and Skype for Business.
Microsoft said that the Renault-Nissan Alliance is the first automaker to choose the platform.
Under the partnership, the platform is expected to power the automaker’s connected vehicles with advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring and other features.
At the show, Nissan also demonstrated how Microsoft’s Cortana can improve a driver’s experience.
In addition, Azure will provide a common platform for Renault-Nissan to deploy services to both Alliance brands.
The cloud platform supports devices and vehicles that run on multiple operating systems, programming languages and tools.
Recently, Volvo partnered with Microsoft to integrate Skype for Business in Volvo’s 90 Series cars.
Microsoft said: “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.”
It 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.
The company said that the platform will deliver in-car productivity services through Office 365, as well as intelligent personal assistance for drivers.