This post was written by our friend Pranish Kumar, Group Program Manager, Windows Embedded Automotive. See the original post here.
Hi – I’m Pranish Kumar and as Group Program Manager for the Windows Embedded Automotive team, I lead the group of developers and designers responsible for building, designing, and maintaining our automotive technology. We released this video series today to introduce some of the team working on the technology that will bring about our vision for the intelligent vehicle. I’m proud of this team. Whether at work or at home, this team is so passionate about cars and the opportunity to use technology to improve the car experience. They bring their work and play together, with many members spending their free time on things like re-building hot rods and participating in car clubs. I invite you to watch the videos to meet the team behind our product and learn about what makes us tick.
So why are we so committed to the mission of in-car technology? Our vision is that over time, technology is going to help the car to become more intelligent, delivering a more responsive, intuitive safer experience for drivers and passengers. How will this impact your driving experience?
- Keeping cars up-to-date: One of the advances we expect is that cars will become more updateable. We are already doing this today in our work with Ford, but we think that the technology is going to advance so that cars start to behave like any other device, updating automatically and wirelessly. This will make it possible for automakers to continue to add value to their vehicles even after they are manufactured and purchased, so when you get the latest device on the market, your car will know about it too.
- Introducing data to the driving experience: We are excited about the opportunity automakers have with vehicle generated data to improve the experience for their customers. There are already so many sensors and electronic systems in cars today that the data already exists, it’s just a matter of finding ways to access and utilize it. Just one small of example of this could be that instead of selecting a number and pressing a button to adjust the driver seat position, your car will be able to automatically recognize who the driver is and do this for you. With Microsoft’s offerings for cloud computing and big data, we are
well positioned to partner with automakers on their data strategy.
- Design Matters: Improvements to automotive technology will also come from placing more emphasis on the design of the technology. If you think about the experience in today’s cars, the way you turn on the radio, adjust the heat, and make a phone call are completely different and it puts the burden on users to figure it out. How many of us have spent way too much time in a rental car parking lot trying to figure out how to adjust the radio? We see an opportunity to bring these features together for an easier, more consistent user experience, and this is something we are investing in for the future of our automotive solution.
And we are not just starting to think about this, our vision of the intelligent car is backed by 15 years of partnering with automakers and suppliers to deliver reliable, innovative automotive solutions.
Implementing software for automobiles is complex. There are tight production schedules that need to be met, deep integration that needs to be tested and validated so that the technology works well with all of the other vehicle systems, and hundreds of configurations across different vehicle models and features that need to be addressed. As you can see from the videos, we have a great team and deep experience that will enable Microsoft to partner with the automotive industry and turn our vision for the future into reality. So please, tell us what you think – besides a flying car, what would you like to see in the intelligent car of the future?