A group of technology partners led by Microsoft is using the upcoming CES show in Las Vegas as a venue for demonstrating their version of how cloud and artificial intelligence can be used to ensure a safe, connected and personalized autonomous driving experience in the not-too-distant future.
Drivers participating in the demonstrations can get behind the wheel of a specially equipped Volkswagen to experience a number of real world scenarios in a potential smart car of the future. The idea is to illustrate how such vehicles will be able to accurately monitor their surroundings to improve both passenger and pedestrian safety, and how they will be able to adapt to different driving styles and needs.
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Artificial intelligence bots, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication and seamless connectivity to keep a driver and passengers connected to calendars, data and entertainment are some of the varied technologies incorporated in the demonstrations.
Microsoft will primarily be showcasing their Azure cloud offering, which is already tapped for use by a number of automobile makers like Toyota, Renault and Nissan. Azure is a collection of integrated cloud services and templates such as analytics tools and mobile and networking systems, and is meant to make it easier to build apps for a wide variety of applications.
The other companies involved on the technical side of the CES demonstrations include NXP Semiconductors, German-based transportation technology company IAV, 2D and 3D mapping company Esri, and mobile data connectivity company Cubic Telecom.
While not involved in the technology elements of the demonstrations, insurance company Swiss Re is providing various insurance models that take into account the changing dynamics of autonomous driving.
This Microsoft-led demonstration will be held throughout CES, which runs from January 4 to 8. It is part of a growing trend in connected and smart car projects that includes similar and related announcements last year by Hyundai, BMW and the UK Autodrive Project.