Bring Your World Into Your Car

How much time do you spend on the road? Think of all the things you could have done before you arrive at your destination.

Microsoft is moving closer to putting your living room on wheels, introducing several features that will make your drive more productive and entertaining.

On Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft announced four partnerships that will usher the next generation of cars into the cloud. “The industry is going through a digital transformation,” said Sanjay Ravi, Microsoft Worldwide Managing Director of Manufacturing. “The automotive companies want to be digital companies.”

In other words, say “connect to conference call,” and your car will connect you to your officemates. Say “Skype with Mom,” and the line will soon be ringing. Say “find a gas station,” and you won’t have to worry about running on empty.

“Think of the car of the future as your living room on wheels,” Ravi said. “Or your office on wheels.”

Nissan, for example, will use the Microsoft Azure cloud computing platform to allow the all-electric Leaf and certain vehicles from its luxury Infiniti brand to tap into the benefits of cloud-based connectivity. Moving telematics information from Nissan’s own global data center to the cloud will increase the network’s storage space, which means drivers can perform functions such as finding places of interest and monitoring the car’s battery capacity faster.

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