Cast your mind back to your first mobile phone. Chances are, you used it for calls, texts, and not much else. Now compare it to the sleek device that easily slips into your pocket – the thin slab of glass which provides near-infinite knowledge, entertainment and tools at your fingertips. The mobile phone has evolved far beyond its initial purpose, becoming an indispensable pocketable companion for individuals in modern society. Looking at the automobile industry through a similar lens, it’s clear to see that the humble car – a technology which has had a marked impact on human society – is on the cusp of a similar evolutionary explosion.
For the German car manufacturer Volkswagen, the future of the car goes beyond a mere four-wheeled chauffer and errand-runner. Our cars will also integrate with our lives in ways never before thought possible.
Earlier this year, the company revealed its plans for the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud – a platform which will create a seamless experience for drivers from the moment they enter, use, and leave their cars, ushering in a new era of truly connected vehicles.
Powered by Microsoft’s Azure cloud and IoT Edge platform, the Automotive Cloud will allow drivers to effortlessly remain in control of their professional and personal lives. From entering the car to the same music they were just listening to in their living room, to managing their appointments and carrying out work meetings via Skype, the car will evolve into an invaluable physical, and digital, assistant.
Beyond helping with individual needs, the possibilities of the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud can also extend to organisations:
“The cloud will let us update and adapt to market and consumer needs much faster,” says Heiko Huettel, Head of Connected Car at Volkswagen AG. “It will also be open to third party developers. For example, our interface could integrate with a company’s HR and finance system, providing a hassle-free corporate car-sharing solution. The cloud solution opens the doors to future use-cases which don’t even exist today.”