Auto Azure: Renault-Nissan ally with Microsoft to make smarter cars

27 Sep 2016304 Views

Nissan concept car. Image: Maksim Toome/Shutterstock

The Renault-Nissan alliance is partnering with Microsoft to use Azure cloud services in upcoming cars.

Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology will be used to power smart-connected car features for new and upcoming vehicles; including advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and remote monitoring of cars, and over-the-air software upgrades.

And in typical Microsoft fashion, the software giant will focus on productivity, allowing executives to keep on top of tasks and deadlines during the commute.

‘While the connected car experience is in its infancy, we believe there’s so much potential to dramatically change the industry’

The deal with Renault-Nissan has a 10-year scope.

Renault-Nissan hopes to have 10 models of autonomous vehicles on the road by 2020.

One of the features of the new alliance will be the ability for a driver to effectively log in when they switch from vehicle to vehicle with their settings following them, including navigation, entertainment and productivity.

“While the connected car experience is in its infancy, we believe there’s so much potential to dramatically change the industry,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft global sales, marketing and operations.

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The move isn’t the only car-based endeavour up Microsoft’s sleeve.

Microsoft struck a similar deal earlier this year with Mercedes-Benz with an “In Car” office feature, placing your work and contacts details on the car’s dashboard.

Microsoft has also been trumpeting how Uber is using driver-selfies, powered by Microsoft Cognitive Services, to unlock vehicles.

Uber is introducing Real-Time ID Check, an additional security feature that periodically prompts drivers to share a selfie with Uber before they go online to start accepting ride requests.

The idea is to prevent fraud and protect drivers’ accounts from being compromised.

Nissan concept car. Image: Maksim Toome/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years