Volkswagen has announced that it will be partnering Microsoft in the development of its new connected-cars. The partnership with see both tech giants creating an entire digital ecosystem that seeks to turn VW’s future cars into members of the internet of things (IoT), using Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform as the foundation. This will bring services such as media streaming, smart-home connections, personal assistants, personalization and in-car office work.
The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud will be integral to those efforts, and Microsoft will play a key role in helping the company transform to a software and service-driven model. According to Volkswagen, the ideal is to create a massive automotive cloud that can cater to millions of connected cars. The company stated that, from 2020 onward, “more than 5 million” new VW Group vehicles will be fully connected.
Together, the two companies will develop the technological basis for a comprehensive industrial automotive cloud. In the future, all in-car services for vehicles of the core Volkswagen brand as well as the Group-wide cloud-based platform (also known as One Digital Platform, ODP) will be built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and services as well as Azure IoT Edge.
Speaking, Heiko Huettel, head of connected car for the Volkswagen Group said:
I think this is an industry benchmark in terms of joining forces and putting the best of each company at the table and building the business together. Simply building great cars will not be enough, and that’s why the Volkswagen Group — and especially its core brand of Volkswagen passenger cars — is investing heavily in electric and autonomous technology. But even more, Volkswagen is also speeding up the development of its ecosystem with its own software know-how and the strength of external partners. We envision the automobile evolving into a central hub in the Internet of Things, enabling customers to take their world into their vehicles.
Also, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft said:
Volkswagen is harnessing technology to digitally transform and deliver innovative new connected car services to its customers. The world’s leading companies run on Azure, and we are thrilled that Volkswagen has chosen Microsoft. Together we will re imagine the driving experience for people everywhere.
Volkswagen plans to establish a new automotive cloud development office in North America near Microsoft’s headquarters. The solutions developed through the strategic partnership will be rolled out to other Volkswagen Group brands across globe.