Microsoft joins the Renault-Nissan Alliance for the future of connected cars

Microsoft joins the Renault-Nissan Alliance for the future of connected cars

Microsoft partners with Renault-Nissan
Microsoft partners with Renault-Nissan

Microsoft has signed a global agreement with the Renault-Nissan Alliance to partner on advanced connected driving technologies.

The companies will work together to accelerate the development of infotainment and location-based services in cars. These services will be powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform.

A key focus will be on the user experience. The companies will focus on developing features like advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and vehicle centric services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences and over-the-air updates.

The Renault-Nissan Alliance is already working to bring connected driving features to the market. It hopes to be able to launch more than 10 autonomous vehicles by 2020.

Why does Renault-Nissan need Microsoft?

Security. Microsoft Azure is one of, if not, the most recognizable cloud platforms on the market. Renault-Nissan says it “selected Azure in part because of its enterprise-grade security and Microsoft’s rigorous commitment to compliance”.

This is hardly surprising given that the public still has reservations regarding the safety of connected vehicles.

“Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of the associated key technologies needed to enable scenarios our customers want and build all-new ones they haven’t even imagined,” said Ogi Redzic, Renault-Nissan Alliance senior vice-president.

Tapping into the connected car market

The connected car is one of the most talked about advancements when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT). The hype is heading towards Gartner’s ‘trough of disillusionment’, if it isn’t there already, but clearly Microsoft does not want to miss out on a lucrative market.

“While the connected car experience is in its infancy, we believe there’s so much potential to dramatically change the industry. We are partnering to accelerate Renault-Nissan’s mobile and cloud strategies and unlock new experiences for their customers,” said Jean-Philippe Courtois, executive vice president and president, Microsoft Global Sales, Marketing and Operations, Microsoft.

“Renault-Nissan is an exceptional partner thanks to its global presence and range of brands, which enable it to bring entirely new mobile and digital experiences to so many people. This collaboration will bring a new standard to connected cars.”

What does success look like?

In exclusive comments to Internet of Business, John Phillips, general manager EMEA at Zuora, discussed what the companies would need to do to achieve their aims.

“The success of the Renault-Nissan and Microsoft alliance will hinge on their ability to see past product integration –  through to true service integration – to make a real impact on the end user experience,” he said.

“Connectivity and autonomous driving are product-based stepping stones to a longer term relationship that every IoT business is looking to forge with its customer base. All companies connected to the Internet of Things will need a clean break from their old product-based business models and reinvent themselves as subscriber-based platforms.”

“This shift in business models for traditional car or software manufacturers will be the tipping point in unlocking the value of IoT for the end user.”