With most technology and automobile behemoths looking to carve out a path for themselves in the self-driving and autonomous ecosystem, Microsoft is now also looking to join the party. But instead of building a connected car of their own, Redmond is planning to empower those who’re building one. Thus, it has today unveiled a new Azure-based cloud platform that’ll help automakers deliver a next-generation driving experience.

Falling in line with the CES’17 conference currently ongoing in Las Vegas, Microsoft is joining the self-driving revolution with a set of tools that are built atop the Microsoft Azure cloud. Christened the Connected Vehicle Platform, it has been designed to provide automakers with another robust platform that’ll do the heavy-lifting of ingesting high volumes of sensor and camera data. It will enable the carmakers to get meaningful insights and drive them to power their connected services.

Speaking on the launch of the cloud platform, Peggy Johnson, Executive VP (Business Development) at Microsoft, says,

it’s a living, agile platform that starts with the cloud as the foundation and aims to address five core scenarios that our partners have told us are key priorities: predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and help building autonomous driving capabilities.

This cloud-based connected platform is going to enable a wide variety of automakers to augment their customers driving experience with an advanced navigation system, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring of car features and more. The bots built on the company’s Azure cloud platform will also enable them to build tools, similar to Nvidia’s Co-Pilot, to analyze the driver and customize the ride, performance and entertainment options.

To top that off, the company has also announced partnerships with the Renault-Nissan Alliance and BMW to enable both of them to develop their connected car platforms on the cloud. The Redmond giant has been working with Renault-Nissan on a multitude of other projects and is now planning to bring connected car services to their vehicles in the coming year. The automaker is Microsoft’s first partner for the usage of this connected platform.

Further, Microsoft concludes the official blog post by adding:

Today, the car is more than just a ride between two places — it is a hub of activity for daily life. People are looking to have truly connected experiences in their cars so that they can get more done, save time and make life easier. While safety and security are baseline requirements, our services can help make a person’s work day more efficient

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