Recently, rumors about technology company Apple developing its own autonomous car have surfaced, with other tech companies now looking to take their shot at the self-driving vehicle.
In a press release Wednesday, Microsoft announced a brand new partnership with automaker Volkswagen, in order to build a cloud-based Automated Driving Platform (ADP).
Microsoft will offer its cloud service, Microsoft Azure, to Volkswagen’s affiliate software company, Car.Software Organization, as a platform for computing, augmented intelligence, and general driver assistance needs.
Microsoft Executive Vice President of Cloud and AI Scott Guthrie said in a statement, “This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider.”
Guthrie continued, “The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster.”
Volkswagen and Microsoft plan to have test fleets deployed by 2021, with production rollout set for 2022. By 2025, Volkswagen will have invested about 27 billion euros ($32.7 billion USD) into the digitization of its vehicles, while also having increased the proportion of in-house development of software from today’s 10% to 60%.
In any case, the companies will be met with immediate competition from Tesla, as the latter’s Full Self-Driving beta is off to a major head start over competitors, when it comes to autonomous driving on new city streets and highways.