The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft Corp are to collaborate on next-gen technology to help connect cars with their owners, other cars and the world around them – to make self-driving car ‘free time’ more productive.
The companies will work together on so-called ‘connected driving experiences’ using the Microsoft Azure intelligent cloud platform, helping Renault-Nissan roll out new services to customers faster.
These will cover futuristic new sat nav solutions, predicted maintenance, remote vehicle monitoring and over-the-air updates for critical car functionality.
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“A car is becoming increasingly connected, intelligent and personal,” said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice-president, Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services. “Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of associated key technologies.
“We aim to become the provider of connected mobility for everyone with one single global platform.”
The news comes as Nissan prepares to launch the first generation of its self-driving autonomous car technology. Next year, the UK-built Nissan Qashqai will become available with Propilot, a Tesla-style autonomous drive feature: coming generations will quickly follow, says Nissan, offering ever-greater self-driving abilities.
There will be almost a dozen Renault-Nissan Alliance vehicles on sale with autonomous driving technology by 2020 – and the new partnership with Microsoft should help newly-liberated drivers make better use of their in-car free time, say the two companies.
What will connected cars offer?
Microsoft and the Renault-Nissan Alliance say they want to roll out infotainment services and location-based services that:
- Let drivers personalise – and protect – their settings
- Project the vehicle and utilise ‘geofences’
- Bring Microsoft productivity into Renault and Nissans
- Access over-the-air updates
- Remotely monitor the car
- Allow car makers to deliver unique features to customers
- Let drivers better stay in touch with others
“While the connected car experience is in its infancy,” said Microsoft’s Jean-Phillippe Courtois, “we believe there’s so much potential to dramatically change the industry.
“This collaboration will bring a new standard to connected cars.”