Volkswagen and Microsoft a marriage in the cloud
Volkswagen and Microsoft are partnering to create cloud services for VW’s entire fleet, including its other brands Audi, Porsche, Lamborghini, Skolda and Bentley.
VW anticipates that starting in 2020, more than 5 million new Volkswagenbrand vehicles per year will be fully connected and part of the Internet of Things (IoT).
VW’s board of directors approved the agreement between the two companies to create the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, which will be based on Microsoft’s Azure enterprise-grade cloud platform and Azure IoT Edge.
The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud will facilitate the development of new in-car consumer services, telematics, as well as secure data connections between cars and the cloud.
The creation of what VW describes as “one of the largest dedicated automotive industry clouds” will take place at a new office VW plans to establish near Microsoft’s head quarters in Redmond, Washington. Proximity to Redmond operations will allow for Microsoft’s assistance in hiring, human resources and consulting, as well as access to its expertise.
VW becomes the latest major auto manufacturer to announce connected car plans based on Microsoft’s Azure technology.
Ford has partnered with Microsoft for several years on technology that delivers over-the-air updates to its Sync in-car entertainment / information systems.
Two years ago, BMW announced its BMW Connected app, which runs on the Azure-based BMW Open Mobility Cloud. It delivers driving conditions (weather and traffic) and other information to cars in 29 countries.
The Renault-Nissan alliance also announced a partnership with Microsoft to create Azure-based connected and selfdriving car services.
The VW partnership is described as more ambitious than these other deals. It’s the first that involves worldwide support: others do not involve vehicles in every single market.
Also, VW’s presence in Redmond means it will work more closely with Microsoft on software development, learning how to do continuous updates.