The software giant is turning its attention to in-car technology that goes well beyond the cockpit to what the company calls “the intelligent car” – a world in which telematics data could completely change the idea of car connectivity.
The vision builds on a strategy outlined by Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer last year for the company to become known for making devices as well as software, as Automotive News reports.
Microsoft, which helped to develop Ford’s popular Sync hands-free system, is already highly recognized for its in-car software development. However, now the company is focused on expanding its vehicle development technology by providing upgradable operating systems.
“The automotive industry faces a lot of unique challenges, perhaps first of which is that cars must be supportable for much longer than consumer electronic devices — 10 or 20 years, in most cases,” said Microsoft’s Pranish Kumar, Group Program Manager Windows Embedded Automotive team, in a Microsoft press release. “I think we’ve developed a solid understanding of some of these challenges and how technology can address them, while providing drivers with a better experience.”
As carmakers start focusing on creating overall solutions that can power car technologies like navigation and entertainment systems, Microsoft wants to expand the driver’s connectivity capabilities even more.
On example, cited by the company, includes a Windows Embedded-based system that could transmit data about the unsuccessful pairing of a phone to Microsoft and overnight a solution could be identified and downloaded to the car. The next morning, when the owner gets in his or her vehicle, their phone would automatically pair.
The same data could eventually be used to perform tasks on behalf of the driver such as tuning to their favorite radio station or rescheduling a meeting due to traffic delays, according to the software company.
“We’ve come a long way in terms of creating a product that works reliably and meets the quality standards of the automotive industry. And we’re continuing our work with carmakers to reach the full potential on in-car technology,” says Kumar. “Through a combination of software, hardware and user-centric design, we believe that car owners will experience driving like never before possible.”