The auto industry has been using information technology in new and innovative ways to transform the experience of driving a car. Or even eliminating the drive a car, thanks to self-driving cars! For example, Ford has created an eSocial platform, a unique SaaS based platform that converges – mobility, cloud and Microsoft robotics technologies, which encompasses an integrated architecture that allows for development and deployment of new applications with today’s social computing applications. In many ways, it is similar to the process app development in today’s SmartPhone marketplace. The solution includes a unique end-to-end platform for engineers to create and deploy their innovative applications.
What is really great about the platform is that it provides an innovative means of enhancing and keeping the in-car experience current, a feature understood as a critical decision factor in purchasing new vehicles. Also, since it is cloud based, its extremely easy to extend and update the in-car applications through Windows Azure without the need for bringing the car to dealerships for routine software updates. Also the applications could be made available 24×7 and for the entire life of a car (average 10 years) at a fraction of cost with the cloud.
The possible applications for cloud in the auto industry are many. For example, we are working with Microsoft to bring Office 365 to auto dashboards, thereby enabling drivers to use Office 365 on the road. Our infotainment systems will use over-the-air updates to keep Office current. The impact of this can be tremendous, especially with the rise of autonomous vehicles. People can actually get work done in their car, almost as well as they can in their office.