The Renault-Nissan Alliance and Microsoft have signed a global, multi-year agreement to partner on next-generation connected driver technologies.

The companies said they are aiming to launch more than 10 vehicles with autonomous driving technology by 2020.

Renault-Nissan said it will use Microsoft Azure cloud technologies to help the alliance realise its ambitious plans, in which they are aiming to allow customers to:

  1. Personalise and protect their vehicle settings by giving customers the options to transfer their settings to other vehicles and to enable data sharing that will open up possibilities such as adaptive route suggestions and advanced navigation
  2. Improve their productivity by making the transition between work and vehicle seamless using Microsoft cloud technology
  3. Receive over-the-air updates for their vehicles, such as autonomous drive software and collision-avoidance applications
  4. Stay in touch and make payments, such as ‘checking in’ and communicating their estimated time of arrival or change of plans, and paying for highway tolls and parking
  5. Allow customers to remotely monitor the car via mobile phone or laptop, as well as transfer control to a friend or relative, use a mobile app to help them locate their vehicle, trigger remote charging, or lock and unlock their vehicle
  6. Protect the vehicle using tracking software to locate a stolen car and disable it when practical, and geofencing technology to provide notifications when a car enters or exits a predefined area or route
  7. Enjoy an improved vehicle experience, with tools like advanced diagnostic services that will collect usage data to support vehicle engineering and improve manufacturing quality.

According to Renault-Nissan, Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform was selected because of its enterprise-grade security and the technology company’s rigorous commitment to compliance.

In addition, Azure’s support for multiple operating systems, programming languages and tools was also seen as an advantage, providing flexibility and choice to build a common platform for Renault-Nissan to deploy services to both Alliance brands.

Renault-Nissan Alliance SVP for connected vehicles and mobility services Ogi Redzic said in a statement: “Partnering with Microsoft allows us to accelerate the development of the associated key technologies needed to enable scenarios our customers want, and build all-new ones they haven’t even imagined.”

Microsoft’s EVP and president of global sales, marketing and operations, Jean-Philippe Courtois added: “We are partnering to accelerate Renault-Nissan’s mobile and cloud strategies and unlock new experiences for their customers. This collaboration will bring a new standard to connected cars.”