Ford has teamed up with Microsoft to provide in-car cloud capabilities. By putting cloud in the car, Ford will outfit its vehicles to sync up critical data to the cloud whenever it is connected to Wi-Fi. The deal with Microsoft isn’t Ford’s first dive into cloud services. Ford had previously worked with BlackBerry on deal that included their QNX system to be included in cars.CloudWedge wrote about BlackBerry’s QNX system in a previous report.
Ford is now reporting that it has inked a deal with Microsoft that allows Ford to utilize Microsoft’s Azure infrastructure to help facilitate a variety of new features for the Sync 3 infotainment system. Using Microsoft’s infrastructure, Ford will be able to give drivers advanced control and diagnostics in regards to their vehicle.
Ford will also use the cloud to push out critical updates that could save the driver from having to bring the car into the dealership for work. In the past, for the infotainment system to be updated, a dealership had to install the updates using a USB stick. Don Butler, executive with Ford’s connected vehicles and services, is quoted as saying, “It’s better for the customers, better for the dealer and better for Ford.”
Ford believes that by putting the cloud in the car, owners will be able to predict maintenance, find their vehicle incase it is lost or stolen or start their car remotely from an app. Hybrid owners can even check on the status of the battery so they know exactly how much charge they have left on their batteries. Ford also has the ability to give drivers unique analytics about their vehicle, which will likely become a selling point when Sync 3 is released.
Ford expects vehicles to begin shipping with the Sync 3 cloud connected infotainment system this summer. Ford mentions that the feature won’t cost any extra but Ford is declining to mention which vehicle will be first outfitted with its new cloud platform.