Volkswagen skipped this year Paris Motor Show, but announced a very important partnership with one of the biggest technology players in the world: Microsoft. 

Entering into a strategic partnership, Volkswagen and Microsoft will collaborate to develop the ‘Volkswagen Automotive Cloud’, one of the largest dedicated automotive industry clouds for all future Volkswagen digital services and mobility offerings. 

From 2020 onwards, more than 5 million new Volkswagen-brand vehicles per year will be fully connected and will be part of the Internet of Things (IoT) in the cloud. 

Together, the two companies will develop the technological basis for a comprehensive industrial automotive cloud. In the future, all in-car services for vehicles of the core Volkswagen brand as well as the Group-wide cloud-based platform (also known as One Digital Platform, ODP) will be built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and services as well as Azure IoT Edge. This will dramatically streamline the technical landscape.

As part of the new entity, Volkswagen will establish a new automotive cloud development office in North America near Microsoft’s headquarters. To help usher in a new wave of automotive transformation, Microsoft will provide hands-on support to Volkswagen as it ramps up its new automotive cloud development office, including resources to help drive hiring, human resources management and consulting services. The workforce is expected to grow to about 300 engineers in the near future.