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Volkswagen, Microsoft collab on autonomous technology

MVPs: Volkswagen and Microsoft, two of the biggest players in their respective fields, have teamed up to develop autonomous driving solutions.

Volkswagen partners with Microsoft to help develop its autonomous driving tech

12 Feb 2021

HOT on the heels of Ford and Google’s new alliance, Volkswagen and Microsoft have announced a new partnership with the American tech giant set to help the German automotive powerhouse develop its autonomous driving technology.


Made official on February 11, the new partnership will see the Volkswagen Group’s Car.Software Organisation and Microsoft build a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP) together using Microsoft Azure, a move said to accelerate the rollout of Volkswagen Group ‘automated driving solutions’ as well as streamline the development of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).


According to Volkswagen, the ADP will trim software development cycles “from months to weeks” with the prototype and finished products alike able to be downloaded, tested and updated remotely thanks to its cloud basis.


Car.Software Organisation CEO Dirk Hilgenberg said the new partnership was all about efficiency as the Volkswagen Group transforms from a car manufacturer into a “digital mobility provider”.


“We are building the Automated Driving Platform with Microsoft to simplify our developers’ work through one scalable and data-based engineering environment,” he said.


“By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft’s cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services.”


Both Volkswagen and Microsoft reportedly plan to allow technology partners to build compatible tools and services with the platform to further enhance the creation of autonomous driving and ADAS solutions.


According to Microsoft Cloud and AI vice-president Scott Guthrie, the project is the next chapter of the brands’ mutual collaboration, one that first started back in 2018 with the development of the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud.


“The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster,” he said.


The first connected test fleets are expected to start real world testing and development this year with a 2022 production rollout currently being earmarked.

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