CES 2017: Microsoft's Cortana coming to BMW and Nissan cars

Jan 07, 2017, 00:14
CES 2017: Microsoft's Cortana coming to BMW and Nissan cars

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", said Peggy Johnson, executive vice-president for business development, Microsoft, in an official statement.

Carmakers from across the globe have been picking sides when it comes to personal assistants- with Ford opting for Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant coming to Hyundai vehicles - and while Cortana will arrive in BMW and Nissan cars in different forms, the move suggests that Microsoft is not willing to watch rival assistants drive off into the sunset without a fight. It has partnered with BMW to develop Azure-based technologies for in-car productivity services.

While BMW attended CES 2017 with a further eye on the future with holographic touch screen in its concept autonomous cars, for now, the German company is looking to Cortana for hands-free in-car features, such as notifications, reminders, internet searches and restaurant reservations.

And there is a lot of progress for Microsoft in the connected auto space.

Microsoft stated that it did not have plans to build its own connected auto, but rather that it wants to help manufacturers reach goals of autonomous driving. The services that will be used of the company include Azure IoT, Microsoft dynamics, Cortana Intelligence Suite and Office 365.

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

Renault-Nissan Alliance was one of the first to sign up to Microsoft's Connected Vehicle Platform. Amazon has discussed using the Alexa digital assistant on its Echo home speaker to search for a nearby coffee shop and transfer the directions to Alexa in a auto.

Under the partnership, the platform is expected to power the automaker's connected vehicles with advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, remote monitoring and other features.

Last week, Volvo Cars announced that it will introduce Skype for Business to its new 90 Series cars. The company also recently announced a project with TomTom, HERE, and Esri to create more intelligent location-based services.

BMW added that its "connected driving experience will also be enhanced by intelligent voice control", powered by a "personal digital assistant that customers are familiar with in other areas of their daily lives".

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