Bosch and Microsoft are working together to make adding new safety features and digital services to a car as simple as updating a phone. 

Under a new partnership, the pair will create a new software platform connecting Microsoft’s Azure cloud with Bosch’s software modules to be used in over the air car updates that are delivered more frequently over the lifespan of a vehicle.

German industrial giant Bosch already provides wireless car updates while Microsoft is a development powerhouse. Both companies intend to make the new platform available for first vehicle prototypes by the end of 2021.

Making more updates simpler

Software is increasingly important to the automotive industry and has helped digital native Tesla to become the most valuable car company in the world. But managing software to control things like automation, predictive maintenance and advanced safety features is complex, often requiring many iterative updates.

Stringent safety and reliability requirements also make wireless updates complex, and is further complicated by the vast number of car makes and models.

Bosch and Microsoft say this complexity can be reduced with a comprehensive software platform “from the vehicle to the cloud” that would help standardise the process. 

“In this way we will create the conditions for wireless updates to work just as smoothly and conveniently in vehicles as they do in smartphones,” says Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH.

“Bosch already securely updates car software over the air today. With the comprehensive platform for software-defined cars, we want to further empower automakers to develop new functions and get them on the road faster.” 

Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI, Microsoft says partnering with the German industrial giant will combine the necessary expertise to improve car updates.

“With software quickly becoming a key differentiator in the automotive industry, our ambition is to help businesses accelerate the delivery of unique mobility services across passenger cars and commercial fleets at scale.”

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