After raising $1.3 billion last month, Ola today announced on its website that it is partnering with Microsoft to build a new connected vehicle platform for car manufacturers across the globe. As a part of the same partnership, the Bengaluru-based cab aggregator said that Microsoft will be its preferred cloud provider and it will use Microsoft Azure to power Ola Play.
On its website Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-founder and CEO of Ola, said that globally the auto industry today is experiencing a shift. He added that now the definition of automobiles are changing from gas-powered vehicles to connected devices.
“With Ola Play, we have already set the tone for connected vehicles in India; together with Microsoft, we can make the new platform available to a larger, global audience and unlock futuristic experiences for customers worldwide,” said Bhavish
According to the statement, both Microsoft and Ola will further collaborate to help car manufacturers integrate the platform with vehicle systems. Ola Play will now leverage Microsoft AI and IoT to enhance driver experiences with telematics and navigation guidance; passenger experiences with cloud-based infotainment and productivity; and provide auto manufacturers with custom digital experiences for their customers.
The team added that this will transform driver and passenger experiences with vehicle diagnostics, improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, predictive maintenance of vehicles and more.
Customers also will be able to use productivity tools such as Office 365 and Skype for Business, as well as voice-assisted controls built using Microsoft Cognitive Services and Bot framework in-car, during their rides.
The statement added that the advanced telematics platform will transform the car into a high-performing, intelligent vehicle, capable of assessing fuel efficiency, engine performance, and driver performance. It will also enable smarter navigation and predict breakdowns, enhancing safety and security while creating new business models and opportunities.
Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, said in the blog statement:
“Today’s car is quickly becoming the ultimate computing device and together with Ola, we’re focused on providing more intelligent, connected and productive experiences to our customers. The combination of Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and our AI platform with Ola Play will deliver new customer experiences and business opportunities across the automotive ecosystem.”
Apart from this, the collaborative platform will collect, analyse and learn from data taken in from user behaviour. This, in turn, will help with offering customisations for the customer. Ola added that it will also be a game changer with the nature of its services, usage-based insurance, and other models.
Since Ola launched Ola Play, it has been able to create a much-needed differentiator from the San-Francisco-based cab aggregator Uber. In the past year, Ola has given Uber a tough fight. Not only has it retained its market share, but has also provided customers with a choice and a differentiator.