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Ola, Microsoft join hands to build connected platform for carmakers

Indian cab aggregator to use Microsoft Azure to power its existing connected car platform Ola Play

Karan Choudhury  |  New Delhi 

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Homegrown app-based cab aggregator is partnering with global technology giant to build a new connected vehicle platform for car manufacturers worldwide. As part of this strategic partnership, on Tuesday announced that would be a preferred cloud provider and that it would use Azure to power its existing connected car platform Play.
 
This would help transform driver and passenger experience with vehicle diagnostics, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, predictive maintenance of vehicles and more. Both would collaborate to take this platform to car manufacturers globally for integrating with vehicle systems.

 
At the heart of this partnership is Play, which would leverage and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to enhance driver experience with telematics and navigation guidance. Also, there would be improved passenger experience with cloud-based infotainment and productivity, and auto manufacturers would get custom digital experience for their customers.
 
Play customers will be able to use in-car the tools like Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Cognitive Services and Bot framework, during their rides. “The advanced telematics platform would transform the car into a high-performing, intelligent vehicle, capable of assessing fuel efficiency, engine performance, and driver performance,” according to the company. It will also enable smarter navigation and predict breakdowns, enhancing safety and security while creating new business models and opportunities.
 
“Today, 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 CEO “The combination of Azure, Office 365 and our AI platform with Play will deliver new customer experience and business opportunities across the automotive ecosystem.”
 
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 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.”
 
The platform is designed to continually collect, analyse, and learn from high volumes of data and user behaviour. This will allow for customised offerings to shape the nature of services and business models, such as usage-based insurance, amongst others. and also plan to build superior safety features and advanced driver assistance services, as well.
 
Launched in late 2016, Play has changed the in-car experience for millions of Indians. With a range of connected experiences that a customer can control through his smartphone or tablet, Play makes commutes more productive and enjoyable. With advanced telematics, productivity tools and intelligent cloud integrations as part of this partnership, and are together building the future of connected vehicles.

First Published: Tue, November 07 2017. 12:38 IST
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