Nissan-Renault Alliance partners with Microsoft for autonomous vehicle development.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft have signed a multi-year contract for developing the next-generation of in-car technology. The backbone of these innovations would come from Microsoft’s Azure cloud-based computing infrastructure.  The automaker plans to have more than 10 models with some autonomous capability on sale by 2020, and many of this partnership’s potential innovations could give people something to do while the vehicle takes care of the driving.

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft want to make future vehicles as highly connected as a smartphone. With this tech in place, people could monitor their vehicle from anywhere. The companies offer the example that you might be able go online and loan a model to someone else just by giving them permission. If your car is stolen, login from your laptop and disable the ability to drive it.

The pair also wants infotainment systems to improve. For example, workaholics could log into the office from their vehicle and get things done from the road. Over-the-air updates would allow the vehicle to download upgrades that would keep the system current. Tesla’s massive changes in each new software version already demonstrate how revolutionary these upgrades can be like overhauling the autonomous capability overnight.

The companies don’t indicate how long it might be before these next-gen systems arrive on the market. Because this is a multi-year deal, we don’t expect them too soon, though. The demands of automotive development mean that Nissan and Renault already know what tech goes into any vehicles immediately on the horizon.

Microsoft has been working with automakers for years, including a former deal with Ford on the Blue Oval’s Sync infotainment system. Today, the tech giant has a close relationship with Volvo. For example, they are working together on projects like incorporating HoloLens virtual reality glasses into vehicles sales and design. A special feature in the Band 2 smart device also lets owners issue voice commands when far away from their vehicle.

Source: Nissan

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