Microsoft working on new connected car platform with Indian firm Ola

Microsoft and Indian transportation company Ola are partnering on a new connected car platform.

The two companies announced today that the partnership will see Ola leveraging Microsoft Azure as the preferred cloud platform for Ola Play, a connected car platform for ridesharing. Both companies plan to bring the platform to car manufacturers around the world to integrate it with their vehicles.

Microsoft and Ola also plan to give Ola Play users access to Microsoft services like Office 365, Skype for Business, and voice controls during their rides. From Microsoft:

Ola Play customers will be able to use productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and Bot framework, in-car during their rides. The advanced telematics platform will transform the car into a high-performing, intelligent vehicle, capable of assessing fuel efficiency, engine performance, and driver performance. It will also enable smarter navigation and predict breakdowns, enhancing safety and security while creating new business models and opportunities.

Ola launched Ola Play in late 2016, pitching it as a way for Indians to "transform" their in-car experience. The partnership with Microsoft represents the latest in a series that has seen the Redmond tech giant inch further into the connected car space around the world. Recently, Microsoft partnered with Baidu to spread autonomous car tech outside of China. Microsoft also recently teamed up with BMW to bring Skype for Business to its 5-series cars. Likewise, Mercedes-Benz also recently tapped Microsoft services to create an "in-car office".