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Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

Renault-Nissan, Microsoft Ink New Connected Car Deal

by on Sep.26, 2016

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft are teaming up to develop next-generation connected car technology.

Renault-Nissan and Microsoft just inked a global, multiyear deal to partner on next-generation technologies that will advance connected driving experiences like navigation, mobile services and, ultimately, autonomous driving.

The new venture is only the latest in a series of alliances that have sprung up in recent years between old-line automobile manufacturers with their expertise in bending metal and mass production and tech companies with their roots in the digital economy.

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Microsoft, however, is something of a veteran at partnering with car companies having entered into a venture with the Ford Motor Co. nearly a decade ago when connected cars were a novelty and self-driving cars still belonged in science fiction movies as far as the general public was concerned. One of the fruits of the Ford-Microsoft alliance with the oft-criticized Sync system. (more…)

Ford Partners with Microsoft to Offer New Services

New cloud-based system makes updates easier.

by on Mar.18, 2015

Ford's new partnership with Microsoft lets the automaker use a cloud-based system to provide over-the-air updates.

Ford Motor Co. has entered into a new alliance with Microsoft to develop a cloud-based Ford Service Delivery Network that opens a way to offer new services to vehicle owners.

By teaming up with Microsoft, Ford can expand connected services for customers around the world using the globally scalable and reliable Azure Cloud infrastructure, according to Ford spokesman Alan Hall.

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Ford and Lincoln owners will benefit from the convenience of new connectivity services keeping them better informed and in control of their vehicle at all times with the expanded availability of features like scheduled remote start, vehicle finder and vehicle status, such as fuel or charge level, tire pressure. (more…)

Bill Ford Insists CEO Mulally Will Remain in Detroit

But new reports indicate Microsoft board continues to consider Ford chief exec.

by on Oct.02, 2013

CEO Alan Mulally with Chairman Bill Ford.

Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr. has stepped into the swirl surrounding reports that the automaker’s CEO Alan Mulally might soon leave for a job with Microsoft.

The 68-year-old Mulally was recruited from Boeing seven years ago and has been widely linked to the search for a new CEO by Microsoft which is also Seattle-based. In fact, despite Ford’s insistence, new reports by the Bloomberg news service indicate the computer giant’s board of directors is still actively considering Mulally as the replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer who announced in August plans to retire within a year.

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Don’t tell that to 56-year-old Ford Chairman Bill Ford, however. Asked about Mullaly’s possible move to Microsoft, he told Bloomberg Television that, “The plan is he’s going to stick around. I’m happy he’s sticking around.” But the Ford family heir quickly added that, “We also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession.”

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Ford Sets up Shop in Silicon Valley

New R&D center part of shift in thinking about car as mobile “platform.”

by on Jan.06, 2012

Ford's new Silicon Valley center will be located near key tech giants like HP, Microsoft and Google - as well as Stanford University.

Ford Motor Co. is setting up a new research lab in California’s fabled Silicon Valley, underscoring the Detroit maker’s efforts to turn the car into a mobile “platform,” rather than just a mechanical conveyance.

The new facility will help Ford develop a variety of new features and apps for its future products, from high-tech safety systems to advanced infotainment systems, company officials note.  It will be used to develop partnerships with both established technology firms – such as Microsoft, which developed the underlying software behind Ford’s popular Sync system – and start-ups.

The lab, which will be located near Stanford University, in Palo Alto, will help by “ushering in a new era of collaboration and finding new partners to help us transform what it means to be an automaker,” explained Ford’s Chief Technical Officer Paul Mascarenas, who suggested the move is “a very natural extension” for the second-largest of the U.S. makers.

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Ford has put a heavy emphasis on technology in recent years – as have many of its competitors.  Mark Fields, Ford’s President of the Americas, frequently talks about “democratizing technology,” by taking high-tech systems previously found in limited use on luxury products and putting it into high-volume production on mainstream models like the new Ford Fusion.

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Toyota, Microsoft Launch New Partnership

Targeting software to improve efficiency of electric vehicles.

by on Apr.06, 2011

The Toyota RAV4-EV will likely be one of the first models to benefit from the maker's new partnership with software giant Microsoft.

Toyota and Microsoft have announced a new partnership, the automotive and software giants planning to develop new technology they believe can improve the efficiency of battery-powered automobiles.

Squeezing the maximum mileage out of an electric vehicle – while minimizing the impact on performance and comfort could make the difference between a successful product and an also-ran, industry officials contend.

“This new partnership between Microsoft and Toyota is an important step in developing greater future mobility and energy management for consumers around the world. Creating these more efficient, more environmentally advanced products will be our contribution to society,” said Toyota President Akio Toyoda, during a news conference simultaneously held in Toyota City, Japan, and Redmond, Washinton.

“To achieve this,” added Toyoda, “it is important to develop a new link between vehicles, people and smart center energy-management systems.”

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The partners revealed plans to invest 1 billion yen, or $11.7 million, to develop a new telematics system based on the Windows Azure mobile operating platform.  They suggested that the technology could have numerous applications, ranging from improved navigation to in-car information services – as well as improving the energy management in a battery-based vehicle.

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Ford, Microsoft Partnering to Charge Up EVs

“Easier and more affordable” ownership promised.

by on Mar.31, 2010

An EV, says Ford CEO Alan Mulally, will double the energy consumption of the average home.

Ford Motor Co. will team up with software giant Microsoft in an effort to make it “easier and more affordable” to purchase an electric vehicle, the automaker’s CEO Alan Mulally announced during an appearance at the New York Auto Show.

The big buzzword in the auto industry, these days, is “electrification,” with Ford and most of its rivals unleashing a wave of hybrids, plug-ins and battery-electric vehicles.  But the transformation is likely to be a difficult and costly one, Mulally cautioned, during the 2010 auto show’s keynote speech and again during a Ford news conference.

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The cost of battery technology is part of the problem, along with limited range.  But there’s also the challenge of simply plugging in – and making sure there’s a ready and affordable supply of energy.  That’s where Washington-based Microsoft comes in.  The software giant plans to adapt its HOHM application to work on future Ford products, starting with the 2012 Focus Electric, a battery-powered version of the maker’s new compact passenger car.

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