Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

by on Sep.26, 2016

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft are teaming up to develop next-generation connected car technology.

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft just inked a global, multiyear deal to partner on next-generation technologies that will advance connected driving experiences like navigation, mobile services and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

The new venture is only the latest in a series of alliances that have sprung up in recent years between old-line automobile manufacturers with their expertise in bending metal and mass production and tech companies with their roots in the digital economy.

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Microsoft, however, is something of a veteran at partnering with car companies having entered into a venture with the Ford Motor Co. nearly a decade ago when connected cars were a novelty and self-driving cars still belonged in science fiction movies as far as the general public was concerned. One of the fruits of the Ford-Microsoft alliance with the oft-criticized Sync system.

Renault and Microsoft are looking to develop the next-generation of connected services for cars, which will be powered by Microsoft Azure, one of the tech giant’s intelligent cloud offerings. These new services are expected to improve driver experiences with advanced navigation and predictive maintenance as well as features such as remote monitoring, external mobile services and over-the-air updates of vehicle software.

(Nissan wants to redefine mobility. Click Here to see how.)

The new partnership between the Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft should help CEO Carlos Ghosn's vision of a dozen autonomous vehicles a reality.

“A car is becoming increasingly connected, intelligent and personal,” said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice president, Connected Vehicles and Mobility Services.

“Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of the associated key technologies needed to enable scenarios our customers want and build all-new ones they haven’t even imagined. We aim to become the provider of connected mobility for everyone with one single global platform.”

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is already working on autonomous driving and connectivity features on mainstream, mass-market vehicles at affordable prices. The objective is to develop connectivity technologies and features to support the launch of more than a dozen autonomous vehicles Nissan chief Carlos Ghosn has said the company expects to have on the road by 2020.

(Click Here for more about Nissan selling its battery operations.)

With car-hacking now coming to the forefront of the industry’s concerns about connected cars, Microsoft Azure can offer a secure global cloud platform with unlimited scale that allows Renault-Nissan to deliver services worldwide to its broad customer base, Redzic said.

Renault-Nissan said it selected Azure in part because of its enterprise-grade security and Microsoft’s rigorous commitment to compliance. In addition, Azure supports multiple operating systems, programming languages and tools, providing flexibility and choice to build a common platform for Renault-Nissan to deploy services to both Alliance brands.

“While the connected car experience is in its infancy, we believe there’s so much potential to dramatically change the industry,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft.

(To see how the Motor City is gaining an edge on Silicon Valley, Click Here.)

“We are partnering to accelerate Renault-Nissan’s mobile and cloud strategies and unlock new experiences for their customers. Renault-Nissan is an exceptional partner thanks to its global presence and range of brands, which enable it to bring entirely new mobile and digital experiences to so many people. This collaboration will bring a new standard to connected cars.”

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