BMW, Toyota Select Microsoft Azure Cloud Services to Make Cars Smarter
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella addresses shareholders during Microsoft Shareholders Meeting in December 2014 in Bellevue, Washington. The meeting was the first for Nadella as CEO. (Photo by Stephen Brashear/Getty Images)

BMW, Toyota Select Microsoft Azure Cloud Services to Make Cars Smarter

Microsoft Azure has nabbed BMW and Toyota this week as the car manufacturers leverage Microsoft Azure in different capacities, setting the groundwork for future initiatives in connected cars.

By The WHIR

By The WHIR

While AWS touts General Motors as one of its case study darlings, Microsoft Azure has nabbed BMW and Toyota this week as the car manufacturers leverage Microsoft Azure in different capacities, setting the groundwork for future initiatives in connected cars.

BMW and Toyota are among other connected car customers of Microsoft, including Volvo and Nissan. Microsoft wrote about why automakers are choosing Microsoft Azure and how they’re using the public cloud and other services in January.

BMW Runs Open Mobility Cloud on Azure

On Thursday, Microsoft announced that BMW is using Microsoft Azure to power its Open Mobility Cloud. BMW Connected, based on its Open Mobility Cloud, is a new app that was launched last week during Build 2016. It offers “journey management” as the core service, “with travel-planning before a trip and continued services afterward.”

“BMW Connected is more than an app. It’s an experience on top of an intelligent platform that can learn about your driving habits,” Thom Brenner, BMW Group vice president of Digital Life said in a statement. “We are building this platform as a foundation for our future services and experiences … and Microsoft Azure and Azure services gave us the right tools.”

Read more: Bsquare’s IoT Software Stack Helps Developers Link Devices to the AWS Cloud

The flexibility of Open Mobility Cloud will allow BMW to build new service experiences, incorporate partner content, and integrate networked systems like smart homes, the company said, hinting towards future capabilities including the ability to manage car-charging, or “tell your house that you’re coming home, prompting smart lights and features to turn on.”

“We bring an enterprise-grade, trustworthy platform with Azure,” Sanjay Ravi, Microsoft worldwide managing director of Discrete Manufacturing and Automotive Industries said. “Its ability to ingest millions of transactions per second is critical, because a lot of these scenarios need to be processed in near real-time.”

Toyota Builds on Microsoft Partnership with Toyota Connected

On Monday, Toyota launched Toyota Connected, a new company to serve as a “data science hub” and support a range of mobility initiatives.

Based in Plano, TX, Toyota Connected will leverage Microsoft’s Azure cloud technology, “delivering seamless and contextual services, and using cutting-edge data analytics to support product development for customers, dealers, distributors, and partners.” The division will also be responsible for consolidating Toyota initiatives in data center management, data analytics, and data driven services development.

Toyota said that Microsoft engineers will work with Toyota Connected in their facility.

“Toyota is taking a bold step creating a company dedicated to bringing cloud intelligence into the driving experience,” Kurt DelBene, executive vice president, Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft said. “We look forward to working with Toyota Connected to harness the power of data to make driving more personal, intuitive and safe.”

Toyota Connected will support in-care services and telematics; home/IoT connectivity; personalization; safety; smart city integration; and a broad range of data services for Toyota affiliates.

Original article appeared here: BMW, Toyota Select Microsoft Azure Cloud Services to Make Cars Smarter

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