Volkswagen plans to use “cloud” technology developed by Microsoft to speed-up the rollout of autonomous vehicles.
A new deal between the German car giant and the US tech giant will reportedly enable faster integration of autonomous systems in future vehicles.
According to overseas reports, the technology will also enable wifi-based “over the air” updates after the car has been sold, as per Tesla.
Automotive News USA says the deal means that Volkswagen could increase the number of driver-assistance features offered on the vehicle as it aged.
“For our phones 15 or 20 years ago, when you bought it, it pretty much never changed. Now, we expected every week or every couple of days that, silently, there's new features,” Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of cloud and artificial intelligence at Microsoft, told news agency Reuters.
“That ability to start to program the vehicle in richer and richer ways, and in a safe way, transforms how the experience works.”
Given that Volkswagen also owns Audi, Porsche, Skoda, Seat, Lamborghini and Bentley, it is likely the cloud-based technology will eventually roll out on those brands, too.
Volkswagen says it will invest close to €27 billion (AU$42 billion) in digital technology over the next five years, and plans to increase the proportion of software it develops in-house to 60 percent (from just 10 per cent today).