India's largest cab-aggregator Ola has partnered Microsoft to build a connected-car platform. Ola will also use Microsoft's Azure cloud-computing service to power its in-car entertainment offering. This will transform driver and passenger experiences, providing vehicle diagnostics, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, predictive maintenance of vehicles and more, the company said.
“Both companies will collaborate to take this platform to car manufacturers globally, to integrate with vehicle systems,” Ola said in a statement.
As part of the partnership, Ola Play customers will also get access to Microsoft's productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business during their rides, apart from voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and Bot framework.
“Today’s car is quickly becoming the ultimate computing device and together with Ola, we’re focused on providing more intelligent, connected and productive experiences to our customers,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “The combination of Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and our AI platform with Ola Play will deliver new customer experiences and business opportunities across the automotive ecosystem.”
According to the companies, the platform is designed to collect, analyze, and learn from high volumes of data and user behavior. This will allow for customized offerings to shape the nature of services and business models, such as usage-based insurance, amongst others.
Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola said, “Globally, the auto industry is experiencing a seismic shift as the definition of automobiles is increasingly changing from gas-powered vehicles to technology-packed, connected devices. With Ola Play, we have already set the tone for connected vehicles in India; together with Microsoft, we can make the new platform available to a larger, global audience and unlock futuristic experiences for customers worldwide.”
Both companies also plan to build better safety features and advanced driver assistance services in the future.