Tata Motors and Microsoft have entered into a partnership for the latter’s Connected Vehicle Platform, reports MSPowerUser. The partnership will work on solutions for inter-connectivity in cars, autonomous vehicle technology and other services.
Microsoft had launched its connected vehicle platform just last month. The service is built upon the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and works on solutions like “predictive maintenance, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, customer insights and built-in autonomous driving capabilities.” The platform will essentially gather data from connected sensors and vehicles, and help automakers use that data for providing different services to customers.
The platform will launch as a public preview later this year, and will integrate services like virtual assistants, business applications, office services, and productivity tools like Cortana, Office 365, and Skype for business, right off the bat.
Note that earlier this month there were reports of Tata Elxsi (Tata’s design arm) looking to test a self driving car in India. At the time, it was reported that Tata was looking for partnerships, including for OEMs and supplier of parts. With this partnership, Tata could have found the partner it needed for the backend platform management of its autonomous vehicle.
However, as we have said before, autonomous cars are likely to face major problems in India. Hurdles like faded lane markings seriously confuse autonomous cars, which require well-executed infrastructure to function on. We can’t even imagine the car being able to move in India, where most road markings not present, bikes and pedestrians move haphazardly and on-the-road shops take up half the space. We expect such a feature might be marginally useful for things like parking the car, rather than actually navigating in cities or on highways. However, Tata might simply be looking for connected vehicle solutions which include things like predictive maintenance, rather than fully autonomous vehicles.