VW will use Microsoft&#039s cloud to create self-driving software package

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Volkswagen on Thursday reported it will use Microsoft’s cloud computing companies to assist it streamline its program enhancement attempts for self-driving cars.

Volkswagen, which owns models these as Audi and Porsche, is functioning on the two self-driving automobiles for the long term and driver-help capabilities this kind of as adaptive cruise regulate in latest motor vehicles. But the firm’s brand name experienced been producing those capabilities independently.

Microsoft and GM announced a identical arrangement very last thirty day period to establish GM’s Cruise self-driving cars.

Very last yr, Volkswagen consolidated some of those people improvement initiatives into a subsidiary termed Car.Software package to better coordinate amid the makers, with each individual business dealing with its have function close to the search and come to feel of the software while collaborating on main safety functions this sort of as detecting obstructions.

But the different businesses inside the team were nevertheless making use of distinct methods to produce that program, and the deal declared Thursday will put them on a widespread cloud company, Dirk Hilgenberg, chief executive of Vehicle.Software, instructed Reuters in an interview.

The Microsoft offer will also make deploying program updates to increase new characteristics to cars and trucks — a exercise that helped established Tesla apart from several rivals early on — significantly simpler.

Volkswagen in 2018 inked a offer with Microsoft to join its cars and trucks to Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing support. The Thursday offer suggests that the software updates will be made on the exact cloud that will then beam those people updates down to the autos.

“Over-the-air updates are paramount,” Hilgenberg reported. “This operation wants to be there. If you can’t do it, you will eliminate floor.”

In simple conditions, the deal signifies that cars that in the beginning hit the highway with a couple driver-help features currently could incorporate new capabilities over time that deliver them closer to autonomous driving, mentioned Scott Guthrie, government vice president of cloud and synthetic intelligence at Microsoft.

“For our telephones 15 or 20 several years ago, when you acquired it, it quite much never modified. Now, we expected every single week or just about every pair of days that, silently, there’s new attributes,” Guthrie told Reuters in an interview. “That potential to start off to application the car or truck in richer and richer approaches, and in a safe and sound way, transforms how the knowledge functions.”

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