Microsoft Automotive News | August 2021


Ein Auto auf einer digitalen Straße
I hope this message finds you well and enjoying these last days of summer. I recently returned from vacation feeling recharged and excited to kick off our new fiscal year.

Although many challenges around COVID-19 persist, it’s truly rewarding to see how our customers and partners are utilizing Microsoft technologies and our cloud to better respond to the pandemic. FedEx is helping address urgent public health needs with its incredible effort to distribute the vaccine quickly and efficiently. And Ford is leveraging key lessons from last year’s lockdown to design the ideal workplace of the future.

Moving forward, we have an amazing opportunity to impact the greater good by enabling our customers and partners to improve safety and wellbeing on the road, reduce environmental impact, and increase productivity on the go. Diverse industries are also converging, as with General Motors and AT&T, which recently announced a plan to bring 5G cellular connectivity to millions of GM vehicles over the next decade utilizing Microsoft’s scalable and secure cloud services. It’s exciting to be a part of such a transformational time in our industry as we move toward an all-electric and autonomous future, and enable our customers to leverage their data to create new mobility services.

As we recently told Automotive World, we expect cloud services to catalyze future mobility efforts, bringing rapid advances in design, engineering, manufacturing, customer experience and in-vehicle services. Technological innovation certainly drove a significant number of our notable customer announcements and strategic partnerships earlier this year, with established players and emerging startups alike, including:

  • General Motors and Cruise announced a long-term strategic relationship with Microsoft to bring together their hardware and software engineering expertise, computing power, and partner network to commercialize self-driving vehicles. Read more here.
  • Bosch announced its partnership with Microsoft to develop a software-defined vehicle platform for seamless integration between cars and cloud. Read more here.
  • Volkswagen Group teamed up with Microsoft to accelerate the development of automated driving. Read more here.
  • Arrival, a technology company creating electric vehicles (EVs), will be working on an automotive open source platform. This cloud-based approach using Microsoft Azure will enable advanced uses of telemetry, vehicle and fleet data management across vehicle fleets. Read more here.
  • Wejo is partnering with Microsoft to build a manufacturer-agnostic industry standard in connected vehicle data, creating applications across multiple marketplaces, including automotive, smart city, fleet, insurance, mobility, and payments. More details here.

With the new fiscal year, we also expanded our focus to incorporate Travel, Transportation, Logistics and Hospitality, in addition to Automotive. This reflects our commitment to enable the movement of both people and goods. One example is our work with Amadeus, with whom we are innovating and exploring new products and solutions to reimagine travel experiences for the future.

Last month we hosted our annual Microsoft Inspire event. We were thrilled to announce Accenture as our Automotive Partner of the Year. Congratulations are also in order for the finalists: Annata, PTC, and PwC. Much of our Inspire content is still available on-demand, such as CEO Satya Nadella’s keynote address where he discusses how Toyota is using Dynamics 365 and HoloLens at its training academy. I’m proud to see the team at Microsoft working with partners and customers on all aspects of their business.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming IAA Mobility show in Munich in September. Thank you again for joining us on this journey as we kick off the new fiscal year.



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Futuristic grey car driving through the city

Microsoft’s Cloud Platforms and Future Mobility Efforts

Automotive World talks with Microsoft about the impact cloud services will have on the future of mobility and how the company is leveraging tech intensity and bespoke solutions to help a wide array of customers accelerate the development of automated driving and intelligent mobility systems. Read more here.


Man driving his car during the winter

General Motors and AT&T Set Automotive Connectivity Benchmark with 5G

General Motors partner with AT&T to bring 5G cellular connectivity to millions of GM vehicles over the next decade powered by Microsoft’s secure and scalable cloud services. Read more here.

A hand open upwards over which lights hover

Digital Optimism: Customers Drive Cloud and Industry Innovation with Microsoft Technology

From Microsoft Inspire, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althoff discusses the trend of digital optimism, including how Toyota is bringing together fusion teams comprising of professional and citizen developers to build an internal vehicle delivery application. Read more here.

Four people talking to each other in pairs

Partner of the Year: Accenture

Congratulations to our 2021 Automotive Partner of the Year winner, Accenture, and finalists Annata, PTC, and PwC. We look forward to the continued partnership to drive the future of mobility and forward momentum of the automotive industry together. More details here.

An illustration of an electric car while it is charging

The Record: Driving Automotive Sustainability

With climate change becoming a priority for all sectors of society, we discussed with The Record how the automotive industry is taking responsibility for its impact on the wider world with a major shift toward electrification and new modes of transportation. Read the full article from the July issue here. Members of our team also spoke to The Record about mobility transformation and intelligent transportation systems. Enjoy.

A man and a woman sitting in a car. Another woman is leaning in to explain something

Microsoft Blog: How Data is Transforming the Automotive Retail Experience

By 2030, virtually all new cars will be connected devices, datacenters on wheels. The additional revenue this is estimated to generate is extraordinary, as much as $1.5 trillion. Nearly 85 percent of automotive executives agree that the digital ecosystem is expected to eventually generate higher revenue than the hardware of the car itself. Learn more here.

Industry and Customer News

A woman delivering packages in front of a hospital

FedEx Gains Package Insights, Improves Service with Analytics Solution on Azure

FedEx developed a package analytics solution using the machine learning operations capabilities in Microsoft Azure Machine Learning. The company reduced customer service calls, improved real-time visibility, and laid the foundation for continued innovation. Learn more here.

Two people in a meeting room looking at a presentation

Ford Motor Company and The New World of Hybrid Work

Microsoft EVP and Chief Commercial Officer Judson Althoff speaks with Ford’s Chief People Officer Kiersten Robinson and Global Design Director Jennifer M. Kolstad about how they’re thinking about hybrid work and bringing this vision to life. Watch here.

A male developer looking at several screens.

Arrival Developing its Automotive Open Data Platform Using Microsoft Azure

Arrival, the technology company creating electric vehicles (EVs) using its unique technologies, announced it will be co-developing its digital fleet and vehicle capabilities for the automotive industry with Microsoft. This cloud-based approach using Microsoft Azure will enable advanced uses of telemetry, vehicle and fleet data management across vehicle fleets. Read more here.

A corridor with data severs on both sides.

Wejo Partners with Microsoft on the Future of Connected Vehicle Data

Wejo, a global leader in connected vehicle data, has joined forces with industry leaders Microsoft, Palantir and Sompo Holdings to advance the cutting-edge applications of connected vehicle data worldwide. Through the combination of their strategic partnerships and investment, the companies will play a critical role in supporting Wejo’s vision of building the manufacturer-agnostic industry standard in connected vehicle data, creating applications across multiple marketplaces, including automotive, smart city, fleet, insurance, mobility, payments and more, while enriching lives around the globe. More details here.

Four people are wearing HoloLenses and they are looking at a holographic car chassis

Audi: Mixed Reality Is Worth More Than a Thousand Words

Audi uses mixed reality (MR) to present its new products at press conferences, trade fairs, and events. This makes the company a pioneer in the visual presentation of technical information using the most modern means—thoroughly in keeping with its motto “progress through technology.” Now the premium car manufacturer is also using mixed reality in its logistics planning. Read more here.

A woman who is standing in front of a shelf while she is holding a tablet PC

DHL Supply Chain Accelerates Warehouse Robotics Integration with Azure

DHL Supply Chain, a world leader in contract logistics, created a robotics hub that would simplify the implementation of high-tech tools at warehouses. In this innovative pilot project, DHL reduced robotics integration times by 60 percent, and it expects to accelerate implementation by up to 90 percent in the future. Read more here.

A man is standing in a factory while he is holding a table PC

Nissan Intelligent Factory Uses Surface Go to Fuel Innovation on The Factory Floor

To innovate automobile production and make it more sustainable and efficient, the Japan-based auto maker Nissan Motor Corporation launched the Nissan Intelligent Factory. To reach its goal of bringing more advanced technology to its factories and empowering frontline workers to deliver great customer experiences, Nissan has adopted Microsoft Surface Go 2 as the tablet it uses on its factory floors. Read more here.

An electric charging station and a woman who is entering a house.

Clever Accelerates Business Growth with Sustainable Mobility

Clever, one of Europe’s leading Mobility Service Providers (MSPs), is expanding charging infrastructure today for tomorrow’s sustainable mobility. This Danish company believes that electric vehicles (EVs), often considered one of the most sustainable forms of transportation, are critical in the movement to minimize dependency on fossil fuels. And in the universe Clever is creating—where renewable energy is positioned wherever EV customers end up—everyday people will drive global change. Read more here.

Robots in a factory which are building a car

Microsoft Partners with BMW Brilliance for Connected and Data-Driven Manufacturing

Microsoft is partnering with BMW Brilliance Automotive to accelerate digital transformation for its production based in China. It is providing comprehensive IoT services and solutions including predictive maintenance through Microsoft Azure, which begins with cloud-based IoT innovations to extract near-real-time insights and more granularity at scale from the factory floor. Read more here.

Image of a virging atlantic airplaine in the air

Virgin Atlantic Reaches New Heights with Innovations Powered By Microsoft 365

A digital transformation with a Virgin Atlantic spin means the company embraces innovative technology that employees use to stay connected—even as their work takes them to new destinations every day—and never lose sight of the customer experience. How do it use technology to reinvent the industry’s aging, legacy systems and get new ideas to market quickly? The key is to look at new technology from the customers’ perspective. Read more here.

A woman who is standing at the door of a train

Reinventing Railway for the Digital Age

Microsoft solutions keep the trains running on time. Belgian Railway SNCB transformed its incident management process by creating a streamlined, integrated workflow. Dutch Railways developed the Seat Finder app, using different track sensors to gauge weight distribution on each carriage. Austrian rail operator OBB’s AI-powered, cloud-based intelligent provides personalized travel information. Learn more here.

The rear part of several Lufthansa airplanes

Lufthansa CityLine Accelerates AI Solutions

Lufthansa wanted to accelerate the tangible impact of artificial intelligence in operational and commercial airline processes. The airline leveraged ZeroG’s Deep Turnaround solution which uses Azure Video Analyzer, a new offering from Microsoft that combines capabilities from Live Video Analytics and Azure Video Indexer. Watch the video here.

A man sitting in a kitchen who is looking at a Laptop

WestJet Shares How Power Virtual Agents Enable Self-Service Discovery on SharePoint Online

WestJet joined Customer Tech Talks to share how using Power Virtual Agents enabled them to stand up a chat bot connecting staff to resources and knowledge stored in their SharePoint online environment. Link here.

A man playing Microsoft Flight Simulator

Volocopter Featured in New Installment of Flight Simulator

Microsoft revealed a sneak peek of the new edition of Flight Simulator at Gamescom this month. Check out the video here and read more about it here.

Upcoming and OnDemand Events

A blue car and a holographic animation of a cloud right next to it

IAA Mobility

September 7-12, 2021

The world’s largest mobility forum takes place in Munich, with digital extensions. We hope to see you there either way. More here.

Air bubbles against a blue background

Microsoft Inspire

Catch up with On-Demand sessions here.

A Formular 1 car in motion

Indy Autonomous Challenge

October 23, 2021

Coming up this fall. Learn more here.

Aerial view of a highway interchange

Automotive News Congress Conversations

Join these webinars to learn more about anticipated trends in an environment of continued uncertainty. Topics include:


  • The Changing Consumer
  • Vehicles as Software 2.0: Reinventing the Industry
  • The Path Forward for EVs: Commercialization and Industrialization
  • Partnerships & Collaboration

Supply Chain Resilience: Replacing Complexity with Actionable Intel Innovation ‘X’: Evolving the Mobility Ecosystem