In an interview with Microsoft, Volkswagen’s head of Connected Car Heiko Huettel revealed the company’s vision for the future of smart, connected cars. Huettel sees these vehicles, which will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud and IoT Edge, as “the future of convenience.” He went on to explain that the Microsoft “cloud solution opens the doors to future use-cases which don’t even exist today.”
Huettel says that Volkswagen’s aim is to create shareable vehicles. “We want a future where you can find and enter a car using nothing but your smartphone as a key, or letting friends and family borrow your car while you’re away, simply by granting them permission through an app,” he said. “It’s a future of convenience. It’s what we’re striving for. I think this could have a huge impact on transportation infrastructure in general.”
Creating products that implement useful technology requires the use of customer data, the integrity and security of which is a top priority to Volkswagen, according to the Microsoft news story.
“Not only what data, and how it’s used to maximum effect, but the security of this data is absolutely paramount,” said Huettel. “The first step must always be to ensure that customer data is safe. Then, and only then, can we safely leverage that data to its full potential, to benefit the customer’s life.”
Volkswagen recently revealed its plans for its Automotive Cloud, a platform that aims to offer drivers a “seamless” experience when entering, using and leaving their car. The platform will use Microsoft’s Azure cloud and IoT Edge to “allow drivers to effortlessly remain in control of their professional and personal lives.”
As part of its partnership with Microsoft, Volkswagen will establish a development office for its Automotive Cloud close to Microsoft’s headquarters in the US. Microsoft will have significant input in many of the set-up processes including hiring assistance and consulting services.
“We came to the conclusion that we needed to change in a revolutionary way,” says Huettel. “We want to be the Microsoft of the automotive industry, in terms of being seen as the company that made a digital transformation and is really perceived as one of the digital players in the market.”
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