Technology

VW partners with Microsoft for connected driving services

A ‘strategic partnership' between the two brands will provide solutions for VWs upcoming connected vehicle fleet

Two of the largest and most powerful brands in the world, Volkswagen and Microsoft, have announced a partnership. VW will team up with the American tech giant in order to develop new digital services for the brand’s owners, fleet managers and dealers.

Microsoft’s ‘Azure’ software will be used to develop cloud-based connectivity services. The technology will be limited to Volkswagen initially, but will spread to other vehicles in the group’s range, including those from Audi, Seat, and Skoda and even Bugatti and Bentley.

The pair will create the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, a proprietary system that will bring live digital services into cars such as in-car telematics, online entertainment and live traffic data. It’s expected to form a major part of the brand’s upcoming I.D. family of electric cars, providing data on charging points and planning routes around electric chargers.

The partnership will also aid Volkswagen in its plan to become a ‘mobility provider’ rather than a mere car company – with ride sharing, autonomous driving and the Volkswagen ‘We’ digital platform all encompassed.

VW promises that by 2020, there will be more than 5 million of its vehicles on the roads with online connectivity – tied into the IoT (Internet of Things) in the cloud.

As part of the agreement with Microsoft, Volkswagen will establish a new digital office in North America, close to the computing giant’s HQ. This will enable VW to work closely with Microsoft on these digital systems. Around 300 workers will be employed there.

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