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Tata Motors, Microsoft tie up for connected cars

16 February 2017

Tata Motors and Microsoft India today announced a strategic agreement to utilise technology to offer connected and personalised driving experiences for Indian customers.


Under the agreement, Tata Motors' unique user interface application and services suite will utilise Microsoft enabled functionality like advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, telematics and remote monitoring features.

The first vehicle showcasing the vision for these enhanced driving experiences will be unveiled at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on 7 March 2017.

''Tata Motors will leverage Microsoft's connected vehicle technologies that bring together artificial intelligence (AI), advanced machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities on the global hyper-scale Azure cloud, to traverse the digital and physical worlds and create a highly personalised, smart and safer driving experience across the digital life of a vehicle owner,'' a company release stated.

"With the aim to develop innovative and technologically leading products that excite customers, we at Tata Motors, understand the need for a connected ecosystem that can integrate into the digital lives of customers. We are using Microsoft's connected vehicle technologies on Azure intelligent cloud to bring the digital lives of our customers into the cars they drive. Making the most of fast-paced innovation cycle that Microsoft has to offer, we will create a fully connected and seamless driving experience for our customers," Commenting on the partnership, Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors, said.

"We are excited to partner with Tata Motors as they embark on a new journey of innovation with Microsoft Azure cloud. Using IoT, AI and machine learning technologies, we will provide vehicle owners in India and across the world with a safe, productive and fun driving experience," Anant Maheshwari, president, Microsoft India, said.

Using Microsoft technology will empower Tata Motors to provide connectivity features on mainstream, mass-market vehicles at affordable prices. Tata Motors plans to continuously develop and launch new connected services and applications that make it easier for people to stay connected to work, entertainment and social networks, with greater safety and security as well as services to maximise better use of newly found in-car free time.

In addition, Tata Motors' recently launched ring-fenced vertical, TAMO, will act as an open platform to foster innovation through a startup ecosystem and develop vehicles with on-the-go connectivity.

In its first phase, the advanced offerings will incorporate technologies such as cloud computing, analytics, geo-spatial and mapping and increased human-machine interface, creating a new benchmark in the industry for connected vehicles. TAMO will provide a digital eco-system, which will be leveraged by Tata Motors to support the mainstream business in the future.

In the future, Tata Motors vehicles will offer drivers and passengers a highly digital driving experience. Microsoft Azure cloud computing technologies will allow advanced navigation, predictive maintenance and vehicle centric services, remote monitoring of car features, external mobile experiences and over-the-air updates. These will be powered by Microsoft Azure cloud and services such as advanced analytics, machine learning, IoT and artificial intelligence.

Among the driving scenarios being explored for the future are the following:

  • Based on their profile and location data, vehicle owners can receive proactive point-of-interest, shopping and route assist recommendations enabling them to achieve more on the go;
  • Pre-emptive service alerts based on vehicle health data, which will enable owners to avoid costly down time en-route on planned road trips;
  • Using industry-leading firmware over the air (FOTA) and software over the air (SOTA) updates protocols, key vehicle settings can be updated remotely, over the cloud, helping cloud based diagnostics and the ability to use insights from vehicle data to prevent warranty and recall issues, and offering new services that improve user experience;
  • Using unified navigation, data elements like maps, weather, traffic, and parking solutions, vehicle owners can get optimised routing and location based services, which will help get information on road conditions and increase safety, optimise vehicle performance by avoiding roadblocks and rough terrain.

Tata Motors is India's largest automobile company, with consolidated revenues of Rs275,561 crore ($41.6 billion) in 2015-16. Besides owning the business comprising iconic British brands Jaguar Land Rover, Tata Motors, through subsidiaries and associate companies, operates in South Korea, Thailand, South Africa and Indonesia as well.

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