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Microsoft and Volkswagen will collaborate on self-driving car software

VW plans to use Microsoft's expertise to build a cloud-based platform for future autonomous technologies and driver-assist systems.

VW Group and Microsoft cloud partnership

Automakers are embracing big tech.

Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen Group on Wednesday laid another brick in the wall of self-driving car software. The German automaker announced a new partnership with Microsoft to build a dedicated cloud-based platform specifically created for future autonomous car systems. The deal expands on an existing partnership in which VW used Microsoft's automotive cloud to connect its cars back in 2018.

Whatever technologies come out of VW Group's Car.Software subsidiary, focused on creating digital technologies for the large number of brands the group operates, Microsoft's Azure platform will help them come to life. Eventually, the goal is create an automated driving platform based on the US firm's technology. Working closer with Microsoft will, according to VW, unlock more efficiency and create a simpler software design process.

At the same time, VW plans to invest over $32 billion for the "digitalization" of the car by 2025. This will include boatloads of software developed in-house at the automaker, including future driver-assist and active safety systems. By 2022, we'll see production VW vehicles communicating with the automaker's cloud division with Microsoft's muscle carrying the weight, and it will likely lead to far more seamless and frequent over-the-air updates for future vehicles. OTA updates, famously popularized by Tesla, continue to become more and more common in the industry.

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