Volkswagen partners with Microsoft to keep cars connected to the cloud

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Volkswagen Automotive Cloud

Volkswagen and Microsoft are teaming up to make staying connected in your car a breeze. The automaker and tech giant announced today that their partnership will power the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, a service built on a variety of Microsoft's cloud platforms that will eventually allow drivers to keep up with their online calendars, take part in conference calls, and more, all while on the road.

According to Microsoft, Volkswagen Automotive Cloud will take advantage of Azure and the IoT Edge platform. From Microsoft:

To start, the cloud will leverage Microsoft cloud services including Azure IoT, PowerBI and Skype to help create in-car consumer experiences, telematics and productivity solutions. By building its own dedicated automotive cloud, Volkswagen will be able to leverage consistent mobility services across its entire portfolio of brands.

As part of the initiative, Volkswagen says it plans to set up shop with a new legal entity close to Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Washington, where it will build the Automotive Cloud with access to support and resources from Microsoft.

According to Heiko Huettel, the head of Volkswagen Group's connected car initiative, the company chose to partner with Microsoft after seeing how the tech giant itself had been transforming in recent years.

"We came to the conclusion that we needed to change in a revolutionary way," Huettel says. "We want to leverage what we can from Microsoft's culture and Microsoft's technology. We want to be the Microsoft of the automotive industry, in terms of being seen as the company that made a digital transformation and is really perceived as one of the digital players in the market."

There's no word on when Volkswagen will begin integrating its Automotive Cloud platform in its vehicles, but it's a big win for Microsoft and its cloud efforts that could lead to an increased presence in the automotive industry.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl