IoT In the Auto Industry: Automakers Choose Microsoft as Connected Car Partner

What Does Mobility Mean? To Microsoft mobility means the mobility of the person, not of any single device. People now want their technology experience to move with them, from place to place and device to device, at home, at work, and on the move. And this is also true in the automotive industry and in today’s connected cars. People expect their car’s computing power to match its horsepower. And automakers are leading the way, bringing mobility solutions to their cars to meet drivers’ changing expectations, as well as enhance safety. These automakers see their cars as technology platforms, and they are choosing Microsoft as their partner.

Why are Are Automotive Giants Choosing Microsoft for IoT and Cloud? They are choosing Microsoft because we uniquely deliver end-to-end solutions from the cloud, to the device, to predictive analytics, and do so in a way that allows all our partners to innovate on top of their existing systems. Nobody else offers this breadth and depth to the auto industry.

Which Car Companies Have Chosen Microsoft for Cloud and IoT? Volvo Cars, Nissan, Harman and IAV announced  details about their partnerships with Microsoft to enhance their connected car strategies. They join Toyota, Ford, Qoros, Delphi, and other companies already working with Microsoft to bring their cars into the mobile-first, cloud-first world.

What’s the Future of The customer’s Relationship and Experience with These Connected Cars? In the near future, the car will be connected to the Internet, as well as to other cars, your mobile phone and your home computer. The car becomes a companion and an assistant to your digital life. And so our strategy is to be the ultimate platform for all intelligent cars.

At CES there were many demonstrations of a variety of mobility solutions available today and reveal new prototypes. They showed ways people can be more productive in their cars, how cars can monitor what’s happening in their surroundings to improve safety, and how cars can adapt to unique users to deliver a more personal driving experience.

  • Volvo Cars showcased new concepts that integrate Microsoft Band 2 with a Windows 10 smartphone and the Volvo on Call Universal App, creating new ways for customers to interact with their vehicles. From the new Microsoft Band, a Volvo owner can press and hold the action button and say, “Volvo, start the heater of my car,” among many other options.
  • Harman announced a collaboration with Microsoft that will integrate Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite capabilities into Harman infotainment systems. Drivers will be able to access Office 365 services and interact with them through intelligent personal assistant software to schedule meetings, hear and respond to important emails, and make Skype calls when in park, or when on the road in autonomous vehicles.
  • IAV will use Windows 10 Continuum to stream Windows 10 via a mobile device directly to a car’s dashboard, giving drivers access to Windows 10 features and apps such as Cortana, Skype for Business, Calendar, Outlook and Groove Music while the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode or parked. This integration allows drivers to use the devices they already own. Microsoft and IAV will also demo how to use Cortana Analytics and data from a vehicle’s surroundings to improve safety by anticipating and mitigating potential vehicle and pedestrian accidents.

In addition, Nissan Motor Company and Microsoft announced that all Nissan LEAF and Infiniti models in Europe will have Connect Telematics Systems (CTS) powered by Microsoft Azure.

Why Is Microsoft A Good Partner for the Auto Industry, IoT, Cloud Computing and Awesome Customer Experiences? Automakers are choosing Microsoft as their connected car partner to help them transform the consumer experience with a platform for intelligent cars that complements their own strategies and ambitions. With this partner focus, they are able to leverage their cloud-based intelligence technologies, productivity services and tools, and even personal assistant technologies like Cortana in a neutral manner.

They are able to strike the right balance between using data to create both intelligent and personal experiences, while helping maintain privacy and security. They are also able to create more natural, human computing interfaces. And, they are able to develop and deploy secure platforms and infrastructure to enable innovation on top of existing systems.

My POV: Why Are Partnerships The Path to Innovation? It’s simply that when we collaborate we are a better we, than a single me. At least that’s my saying. I am always a better me when I collaborate. With respect to Microsoft and the auto industry they are partnering to build mutual value, not to compete. The value of a true partnership comes when one is able to help automakers accelerate their mobile and cloud strategies and unlock new experiences for consumers, like no one else can.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research
Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences
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Nissan Selects Microsoft Azure Cloud to Power Nissan Telematics System

How Do You Meet Customer Experience Expectations in Electric Vehicle’s? Start with the Cloud. Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. and Microsoft Corp.  announced that all Nissan LEAF models and Infiniti models in Europe will have Connect Telematics Systems (CTS) powered by Microsoft Azure. Since the Nissan LEAF’s launch in 2010, more than 200,000 have been sold worldwide, making it the world’s best-selling electric vehicle. Nissan selected Azure to meet customers’ expectations about in-vehicle mobility solutions, create additional ways to interact with their vehicles, and enhance safety.

What Do the Next Generation Of Customers Want In their Cars? Nissan knows. They design cars to meet the needs of the next generation of car buyers, the environmentally conscious “digital natives.” Having transformed the performance, practicality and public perception of EVs around the world since the LEAF’s launch, Nissan remains one of the leaders in EV technology. The connectivity to their owners and to the world around them makes electric cars more attractive and convenient. Maps, range prediction, charging station availability, charge status, plus all the services customers have come to expect when inside a vehicle are dependent on that connectivity. Azure provides a global cloud platform with cutting-edge security that allows Nissan to deliver services worldwide to this broad customer base.

How Does the Cloud and Nissan Work Together To Create Better Customer Experiences? Nissan CTS is coupled to Azure, allowing a remote connection to the vehicle. With CTS, Nissan LEAF drivers can perform a range of functions on their car, while not even inside. These include using mobile phones to turn on and adjust climate controls and set charging functions remotely even when the vehicle is powered down. An onboard timer can also be programmed to start the charging event.

What About The Cloud and Customer Privacy and Security vs Their Customer Experience? As countries and regulations become more stringent on data privacy and technology standards, Nissan and Microsoft are committed to investing in meeting regulatory standards around the globe. Nissan selected Azure because of its enterprise-grade security and compliance. Microsoft was the first major cloud provider to adopt the world’s first international cloud privacy standard, ISO 27018, providing another reason enterprise customers can move with confidence to Azure. Azure supports multiple operating systems, programming languages and tools, providing flexibility and choice for Nissan.

Why Is Voice Control In Cars So Important? With the standard Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant for all Nissan LEAF around the world, drivers can manage incoming text messages via voice control without taking their hands from the wheel or their eyes off the road. Drivers are alerted to an incoming text and, after initiating the system, can hear the text read out loud and respond by voice, or via the steering wheel switches using preset answers such as “driving, can’t text,” “on my way,” “running late,” “okay.” These experiences are powered by the back-end connectivity and support of Azure.

Nissan can also send over-the-air “point of interest” (POI) updates as they become available, enabling customers to have the latest information as the company continues to refresh its services. Connectivity to Azure allows Nissan to bring new connected features to market faster and offer flexibility for the future.

How Does the Cloud Play in The Data Management Area? The partnership allows Nissan to tap into Microsoft’s deep expertise across critical areas such as data management and analytics. Azure offers Nissan the scale and commitment to security it needs to support its global operations. The expansive global footprint of Microsoft’s datacenters provides the coverage to support Nissan’s vehicles anywhere they are in the world.

Notes from the Executives: Celso Guiotoko, chief information officer and corporate vice president in charge of global corporate IS/IT, Nissan said, “Microsoft Azure will help us deliver a more innovative and intelligent future for our connected technologies. This is also a bold first step toward innovations that will realize future new mobility.”

Nissan’s connected platform powered by Azure is allowing Nissan to continue to provide its customers with exceptional value and add new services throughout the vehicle life cycle.

Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development, Microsoft said, “Our partnership with Nissan shows what automakers can accomplish by tapping into Microsoft’s intelligent cloud platform. Further, our collaboration reveals tremendous possibilities for how consumers can get more out of their connected driving experience.

 

My POV: As we become more accustomed to thinking about the cloud and the conveniences it brings to the automotive industry, something very near and dear to many American’s hearts, we see that the cloud and IoT are really transforming the way we will be traveling in the future, the very near and present future.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

Covering Cloud and IoT That Drive Better Business Results and Awesome Customer Experiences

 

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