Volkswagen partners with Microsoft to build new "automotive cloud"

Volkswagen strikes deal with Microsoft to build cars connected to the cloud

The German automaker wants to become a mobility provider with a fully connected fleet.

Microsoft and Volkswagen will develop the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud (VAC) which will allow over the air software updates for connected vehicles as well as advanced telematics for Volkswagen owners.

"The strategic partnership with Microsoft will turbocharge our digital transformation", said Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen AG. Microsoft has already collaborated with various auto manufacturers for connected vehicle technologies including Renault-Nissan and Tata Motors, and the company has already done all the platform work to help automative companies build cars that can connect to digital services.

Volkswagen's supervisory board on Friday gave the green light for a strategic partnership between the Wolfsburg-based carmaker and Microsoft that will see the two companies develop connected cars together using cloud technology. The ODP will be built upon Microsoft's own Azure and Azure IoT Edge cloud platforms, which VW said will "dramatically" streamline its technical landscape.

As part of the initiative, Volkswagen says it plans to set up shop with a new legal entity close to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where it will build the Automotive Cloud with access to support and resources from Microsoft. "Together we will reimagine the driving experience for people everywhere".

There's no word on when Volkswagen will begin integrating its Automotive Cloud platform in its vehicles, but it's a big win for Microsoft and its cloud efforts that could lead to an increased presence in the automotive industry.

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