Microsoft has created a new platform for building connected cars, and Nissan is its first partner.
Announced at CES on Thursday, the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform will draw on the Microsoft Azure cloud and will bring services like Office 365, Cortana and Skype into the car.
In Nissan’s keynote address, company execs demonstrated how Cortana could help a driver reroute when a meeting location is changed, make breakfast plans and schedule oil changes, all while en route. Car owners could even use remote car monitoring to track where family members are in their journey.
While Microsoft and the Nissan/Renault Alliance already announced their plans to collaborate on connected vehicles last year, the presentation more clearly illustrated what such a partnership could look like.
It’s one of a number of car-tech partnerships visible at CES this past week, as companies vie to see who will lead development of the smart vehicles of the future. Ford and Toyota are launching a new consortium to help developers build apps for connected cars. The SmartDeviceLink consortium will open-source its code on GitHub, allowing developers to potentially build one app that could work on all SDL-enabled cars.
Amazon’s Alexa virtual assistant will start showing up in Ford vehicles this summer, and the automaker is already rolling out the ability for owners of hybrid and electric cars to track them from home.
Volvo had previously announced that drivers of its 90 Series cars will be able to access Microsoft’s Skype for Business from the road.
Microsoft also reiterated that it has no plans to build its own connected cars; instead, the company will continue offering its cloud services to automakers.