Tata Motors and Microsoft’s connected cars. What it means for you and can it be successful?

The technology from Tata Motors and Microsoft is different from that of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto but can it ensure success for Tata? We explain.

By: | Published: February 17, 2017 11:48 AM
Tata Motors has announced a partnership with Microsoft by which passengers will get access to an enhanced digital driving experience, wherein the technology will offer predictive maintenance, advanced navigation, remote monitoring of vehicle and over-the-air (OTA) updates. Tata Motors has announced a partnership with Microsoft by which passengers will get access to an enhanced digital driving experience, wherein the technology will offer predictive maintenance, advanced navigation, remote monitoring of vehicle and over-the-air (OTA) updates.

There seems to be a different air running through the offices of Tata Motors these days. Off late, the company has been making multiple announcements related to future business and while this isn't anything new from the company, the fact that these moves seem promising and impressive is a big change for the homegrown company. After the unveiling of TAMO, Tata Motors has now announced a partnership with Microsoft. Through the partnership, passengers will get access to an enhanced digital driving experience, wherein the technology will offer predictive maintenance, advanced navigation, remote monitoring of vehicle and over-the-air (OTA) updates.

First thing first, this system is very different from Apple's CarPlay or Android Auto since those are focussed only on infotainment, while the Microsoft one gives information even regarding the vehicle and personal interests.

The company will make use of the connected vehicle technologies of Microsoft, which is a combination of artificial intelligence (AI), advanced machine learning, and the Internet of Things (IoT) capabilities on the global Azure cloud in one platform. Through this partnership, Tata Motors aims to establish a fully-connected ecosystem, which will improve the in-cabin experience of passengers by seamless connectivity with all their devices and information.

A key point to consider is that Tata Motors and Microsoft will continue to offer new updates for services and apps. This will allow occupants to always stay connected to their preferred choice of information. The best part is that the technology is being developed for deployment at affordable prices, which means it could soon trickle down into more of mainstream vehicles. The first model to be equipped with this technology will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show later this year. Since the TAMO Futuro too will be launched around the same time, there is a possibility that it could be the car to get this technology first.

Watch: Tata Motors & Microsoft bring you the Connected Car Experience

Azure cloud computing by Microsoft will elevate the experience of the user by improving the navigation experience and offering predictive maintenance. Users can also monitor vital stats of their vehicle remotely as all data will be saved in the cloud, thereby offering easy access at any place and time. The system will also be capable of self-learning so it'll track your choices and behaviour to make customised suggestions during searches for shopping or entertainment.

What does it mean for the average Tata Motors consumer?

This is great news for all Tata Motors consumers as both the companies have made it clear that they intend to develop affordable systems for deployment in mass-market vehicles. While a TAMO vehicle will get the technology first, we expect regular cars from Tata Motors to be equipped with a scaled down version of the technology from as early as 2018.

In the longer run, this move could prove to be significantly beneficial for Tata Motors as younger buyers will continue to dominate the passenger vehicle market in the coming years. These buyers give huge importance connectivity as it's an inseparable part of their lives. This is where Tata and Microsoft can potentially turn more consumers towards buying Tata products over the competition.

Also read: Tata Motors and Microsoft tie up for infotainment tech in new cars

However, the actual results would depend on how successfully both companies are able to deliver the technology. Any delay in launch or trickling it to mass-market vehicles could give the competition enough time to improvise and offer better products. Microsoft is not the only company working on artificial intelligence and digital connectivity for the automotive sector and the competition is watching keenly!