Both the cloud and connected cars are big business these days. The latest news surrounds the strategic partnership of Microsoft and Volkswagen. A recent announcement noted that the collaboration between both companies will aim to develop the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud which is considered to be the most dedicated automotive industry clouds for future offerings. The German car maker will put its entire connected car services on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.
The CEO of Volkswagen AG, Dr. Herbert Diess said, “The strategic partnership with Microsoft will turbocharge our digital transformation. Volkswagen, as one of the world’s largest automakers, and Microsoft, with its unique technological expertise, are outstandingly well-matched. Together, we will play a key role in shaping the future of auto-mobility.”
The move to the cloud is Volkswagen’s biggest push over the past few years to connects its entire range of vehicles to the world-wide web and becoming one of the few first carmakers on the market to have digital in-car services. Many auto manufacturers are hoping that this push will generate big profits over the next five years. The collaboration is also great for Microsoft as it drives itself into becoming a global powerhouse when it comes to cloud computing. It still is far behind Amazon in the number two spot.
Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, 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 reimagine the driving experience for people everywhere.”
While no financial details of the deal were revealed, the contract between Microsoft and Volkswagen is valid for five years with the option to extend if all goes well. The development will take place near the headquarters of Microsoft in Washington state and the company will provide engineers to work on the project. Volkswagen will invest several million euros into the joint project and move some people from Germany to the development site.
In a statement on Volkswagen’s website, the company said, “Via the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, Volkswagen will considerably optimize the interconnection of vehicle, cloud-based platform and customer-centric services for all brands, such as the “Volkswagen We” ecosystem. By building the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, Volkswagen will be able to leverage consistent mobility services across its entire portfolio and to provide new services and solutions such as in-car consumer experiences, telematics, and securely connect data between the car and the cloud.”