Tata Motors CEO and MD, Guenter Butchsek; and Microsoft India President, Anant Maheshwari

Microsoft has today announced a new collaboration with Indian automotive giant Tata Motors. The strategic agreement will further the development of autonomous vehicle solutions for Indian customers. Microsoft provides Tata Motors with access to its services to create its own in-car systems and driverless tech.

The partnership has been in progress behind the scenes for some time. So much so that Tata Motors already has its first vehicle showcasing the enhanced driving experiences ready to be unveiled at the 87th Geneva International Motor Show on March 7, 2017.

By using Microsoft’s connected vehicle technology, Tata can create safer smart in-car systems that personalize the driving experience. The company will also use Microsoft’s AI, machine learning, and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions to further its develop autonomous technology.

By leveraging these services, the Indian carmaker has created a user interface applications and services suite. This in-car system brings Microsoft functionality like predictive maintenance, telematics, and advanced navigation.

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,” says Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors. “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.”

Affordable in-car technology

Tata Motors is noted for delivering affordable vehicles to the Indian market. The company also makes luxury vehicles as the owner of British brands Land Rover and Jaguar. In the announcement, the company says it will use Microsoft technology to make connectivity available on affordable mass-market vehicle models.

Looking to the future of the partnership, Tata will work towards a highly digital driving experience. Microsoft discussed four potential avenues that are being explored with Tata:

  • 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 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. These will help cloud based diagnostics and the ability to use insights from vehicle data to prevent warranty and recall issues, and offer new services that improve user experience.
  • By capturing, analyzing and acting on live road conditions, vehicle owners will be able to increase safety, optimize vehicle performance by avoiding roadblocks and rough terrain. By unifying navigation, data elements like maps, weather, traffic, and parking the solution can deliver optimized routing and location based services to vehicle owners.