In a first of its kind collaboration for Microsoft in the connected car space, the company announced that it was teaming up with Harman to bring productivity services to drivers during their commute. The companies envision that the connected car will be your next office. As part of the collaboration, drivers will have, hopefully safe, access to Microsoft's Office 365 cloud services while they drive.
"With access to relevant Office 365 services through intelligent personal assistant software, drivers can complete tasks without compromising safety, including scheduling meetings, hearing and responding to emails, automatically joining conference calls without having to manually input the phone number and passcode, and seamlessly managing events and tasks throughout the day," Harman said in a statement at CES 2016.
Additionally, for drivers who are frequently on conference calls, the integration means that you'll be able to safely make Skype video calls when the car is in park or if it's autonomously driven. Moreover, Harman will deliver over-the-air updates so that the most current version of Office 365 will be available on the car's dash.
With more autonomous and self-driving car announcements at CES 2016, drivers will have more time that is freed up from their commute every day. The Microsoft integration with Harman will ensure that drivers can utilize this newly available time to stay productive.
"Bringing the power of Office 365 into Harman's connected car systems will provide new productivity solutions and transform the driving experience," said Peggy Johnson, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Microsoft, in a statement. "By ensuring that Office 365 services are seamlessly integrated with car and driver telematics and performance data, we will allow consumers to be more productive during their driving hours, while enjoying far greater convenience, safety and reliability."
Details about the integration is still scarce, but Harman claims that the solution will be delivered in a safe, reliable and secure way with "minimal driver distraction."
In addition to Harman, Microsoft is working with IAV to bring Windows 10 to the dash. A mobile Windows 10 device can be connected to the dash through Continuum, to bring features like "Cortana, Skype for Business, Calendar, Outlook and Groove Music" to dash while the vehicle is in autonomous mode.
Additionally, Microsoft is also making a play for the autonomous car market by partnering with IAV to bring Cortana analytics "to improve safety by anticipating and mitigating potential vehicle and pedestrian accidents," Microsoft said in a statement.
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