CARS

VW, Microsoft team up for connected cars

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From Volkswagen’s perspective, it seems no number of tech partners is too many. The German giant announced Friday that it will be teaming up with Microsoft for connected car and cloud services despite a hush-hush deal with Apple to develop autonomous technology.

Volkswagen has chosen Microsoft’s Azure platform as the base for its cloud and connected car development plans, a step in the company’s plan to transform into a “mobility provider” rather than a mere automaker.

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According to the plan, more than 5 million new VW brand vehicles per year from 2020 onward will be connected in the cloud to each other, allowing vehicles in close proximity to communicate with each other and aid autonomous driving efforts, and also allow a mass of data to be collected to make self-driving cars safer worldwide.

To oversee the project, Volkswagen is opening a new “automotive cloud development office” near Microsoft’s headquarters in Seattle.

Presumably, the partnership will also connect Microsoft with Apple by proxy, as the California tech giant is in development on the autonomous driving systems that Volkswagen could use in its vehicles going forward.

“Volkswagen, as one of the world’s largest automakers, and Microsoft, with its unique technological expertise, are outstandingly well-matched,” said Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Dr. Herbert Diess in a statement. “Together, we will play a key role in shaping the future of auto-mobility.”

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