Microsoft is bundling cloud services to make cars smarter

Microsoft Connected Vehicle is 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", officials said.

While Cortana is getting embedded into things like speakers, clearly Microsoft also senses an opportunity for it and other products to be part of cars, particularly amid the excitement around self-driving cars.

Global auto makers are clamoring to sign up intelligent assistants for their vehicles, with four manufacturers announcing deals with technology companies at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the BBC reports.

BWM announced at CES it would partner with Microsoft on Azure services for its BMS Connected cars.

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In 2017, Microsoft is bound to implement the Cortana assistant for self-driving vehicles.

This includes "Augmented Gesture Control", through which, for example, a driver might simply be able to point to a building as they pass by, in order to get information on it, while the vehicle does all the driving for them.

"As you may have gathered, Microsoft is not building its own connected vehicle", said Peggy Johnson, Microsoft executive vice president of business development, in a post about the new platform.

With the new platform, it is expected that Renault-Nissan could be the first user of the Connected Vehicle Platform.

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A concept video shown during Nissan's CES 2017 keynote showed the wider variety of uses for Cortana on Microsoft's new platform.

The Renault-Nissan alliance signed an agreement in September with Microsoft to work on auto technology.

Nissan and BMW are rumored to have Microsoft Corporation's (NASDAQ:MSFT) digital assistant, Cortana, integrated into their cars in the future.

And last week, Volvo Cars said it would make Skype for Business a feature of its new 90 Series cars. Also, it will enable to generate new sustainable revenue streams, address the customers' needs, and make their products stand out in the competitive market.

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By the same token, integration with Skype for Business can bring Voice over IP (VoIP) into internet-connected cars, and Cortana integration will allow drivers and passengers to interact with Microsoft's virtual assistant while on the road. The company also recently announced a project with TomTom, HERE, and Esri to create more intelligent location-based services.

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