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Volkswagen, Microsoft team up to develop autonomous vehicle systems

The companies say the partnership will speed up the development of the technology

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Photo (c) Hiroshi Watanabe - Getty Images
Volkswagen has announced that it’s teaming up with Microsoft to help speed up the development of autonomous driving technology.

The automaker will use Microsoft's Azure cloud computing system to create an Automated Driving Platform (ADP), which will pave the way for future vehicles with self-driving capabilities.

Volkswagen said the collaboration will significantly accelerate its efforts to develop autonomous driving technologies since Microsoft will be able to help it manage data and handle computation and AI. 

“[The ADP partnership] will help reduce the development cycles from months to weeks,” the company wrote.

“By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft's cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services,” said Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of VW’s Car.Software division, said in a statement

Accelerating automated driving

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud + AI at Microsoft, concurred, saying Microsoft is confident that the collaboration will get automated driving technology into consumers’ cars faster than it would otherwise. 

“The power of Microsoft Azure and its computer, data and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster,” Guthrie said. 

Other automakers that have tapped technology companies to help them develop autonomous driving technology include General Motors, which has partnered with Cruise to help develop self-driving tech, and Ford, which recently entered a “strategic partnership” with Android to help facilitate the development of new connected car tech. 

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