Ford’s customers will receive updates to cars while behind the wheel thanks to a new Ford Service Delivery Network supported by Microsoft’s Azure cloud.
Cars will be kept online, sent software updates and new connected car features, much like smartphones, by the end of the year.
Ford's choice of architecture reflects a consumer “shift toward more cloud-based services”, the carmaker said yesterday.
Microsoft Azure will host the MyFord platform which allows drivers to schedule heating systems to start in the morning, find their vehicles in a car park and monitor their fuel, tyre pressure or charge level.
Driver data will be held in Microsoft’s worldwide datacentres.
The vendor said: “Microsoft is devoted to helping automotive companies use their brand and data to create ongoing relationships with customers. We are powering connected car innovations from the cloud platform, to data analytics capabilities, to the software that lights up all of the consumer experiences.”
The cloud race
Similarly, German carmaker BMW recently deployed a backend platform that supports ConnectedDrive, the portal that connects the automaker's cars to the internet, offering drivers the chance to buy apps and services from their dashboards.
Swedish carmaker Volvo also revealed new services on its cloud platform, which is hosted by Ericsson. It is currently piloting safety technologies that will warn authorities, and oncoming cars, of ice on the roads.
With the added responsibility of driver data on Volvo’s hands, its CIO told ComputerworldUK during Mobile World Congress that its customer’s data privacy had become as important as driver safety amongst Volvo’s business values.