Volkswagen Cloud-Connected Vehicles Coming This Year, Microsoft on Deck to Help

As the technologies available to them evolved, carmakers were faced with the choice of setting up separate businesses to handle things like automated driving or rely on third parties to help them evolve. Volkswagen is one of those who chose the harder, but ultimately more profitable path of spinning something off.
Volkswagen Automated Driving Platform 1 photo
Photo: Volkswagen
Car.Software is how the organization tasked with making software for vehicle systems in house is called. Before it was set up in 2019, the group relied on 200 different companies to provide it with the solutions, so that was a logical step toward simplifying things.

But a new company means new partnerships, and in this business, there’s probably no one better suited than Microsoft. The American company has been in bed with VW since 2018 when the two agreed on the creation of a fully connected fleet of vehicles and a digital ecosystem.

To set it up, Microsoft took it upon itself to create the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, a virtual space from where all of the company’s digital services and mobility offerings will be based. And now comes another development.

This week, Volkswagen announced Microsoft’s Azure is the platform of choice for the new cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP) developed to support, well, automated driving. In essence, it will be a learning-from-miles-driven type of affair, a place where all the data from VW cars will be collected and analyzed.

All with the goal of shortening the development cycles of new technologies as the German giant is getting ready to launch the first connected test fleets later this year.

"This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider,” said in a statement Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI at Microsoft.

“The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster."
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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