How to shift connected vehicles into high gear

After the announcement of a new collaboration between Ericsson and Microsoft on connected vehicles, Sami Khoury from Microsoft shares his view of where the industry is headed and how we are going to get there.

Car traffic on a highway

Director, Customer and Partner Ecosystem, Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform

Director, Customer and Partner Ecosystem, Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform

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Towards the end of last year, the high-velocity movie, “Ford vs Ferrari”, premiered on the big screen. The film is about a historic partnership between Ford Motor Company and the automotive designer, Carroll Shelby, and their collective attempt to win the 1966 race at Le Mans. I won’t give away the ending here, but the Ford-Shelby partnership was historic and produced some of America’s most iconic muscle cars including variants of the Ford Mustang series from 1965 to 1970.

At Microsoft, our approach is to provide a horizontal cloud and edge computing platform with a comprehensive set of data, AI, and IoT services on top of which our partners can build customer-facing solutions. We rely on their expertise to build more domain-specific solutions that meet user requirements and speed deployment. Like Ford and Shelby, we also understand the power of strong partnerships.

We see that the mobility industry is going through massive disruption. Mobility and transportation – of both people and goods – are converging, and digital transformation is acting as both a disrupter and a solution. To address these challenges, we are now combining the strength of the Microsoft Connected Vehicle Platform (MCVP) built on Azure with Ericsson’s Connected Vehicle Cloud (CVC). The integration will help automakers minimize time, cost, and complexity through a modular solution with multiple deployment options.

The pace of innovation and the ability to bring new capabilities and features to market has been slower and more expensive than many had hoped for. As a consequence, we expect a strong interest in consolidation to more rationalized offerings like Ericsson’s CVC running on MCVP across the industry.

My hope is that this will free up automaker and partner resources so the connected vehicle can reach its true potential including supporting mobility systems and ultimately autonomous vehicles - all of which require strong connected vehicle platforms.

The partnership between Microsoft and Ericsson has the potential to take the connected vehicle market to where it really should be. Intelligence at the network edge is one area that both companies believe has enormous potential. MCVP already enables cloud-based capabilities to be delegated and deployed as appropriate to the vehicle edge, and by adding network edge to the equation, we can drive insights and optimize the whole ecosystem by putting the intelligence and processing power where it’s needed most.

This type of innovation is something we are very interested in unlocking together with Ericsson.

Read more about how Ericsson and Microsoft are teaming up for the next generation of connected cars

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