Global Sources
EE Times-India
Stay in touch with EE Times India
EE Times-India > Embedded

Microsoft looks to bring Cortana to connected cars

Posted: 25 Sep 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Microsoft  connected car  Cortana  Apple  Google 

Microsoft has announced its plan to import Cortana, its digital assistant, to cars in the future. The company aims to bring its digital concierge to the driver seat by developing a heads up display (HUD) that would project onto the windshield of a vehicle. This is in spite of a J.D. Power report that revealed that not everyone is happy with Apple, Google and others invading their vehicles.

The announcement, reported in the Taipei Times, was made by Samuel Shen, COO at the Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, at the Microsoft TechDays conference on Tuesday, Sept. 15, in Taipei.

"We have not launched similar products due to the high cost, but we hope to have further discussions with Taiwanese partners to jointly explore future possibilities," the paper reported Shen as saying.

Shen was light on details, however, opting not to mention a particular timetable or any specific partners for the project.


(Image: Microsoft)

The announcement is part of Microsoft's larger "Windows in the Car" strategy, which is seen as a competitor to Apple's CarPlay technology and Google's Android Auto platform.

Consultancy firm AlixPartners projected that over the next four years the global market volume for connectivity services and hardware will double from an estimated $20 to $40 billion. More than half of it will be in services and apps.

In addition, a 2013 report from IHS Automotive forecast the number of Web-connected cars would top 152 million by 2020.

Despite optimistic growth forecasts, an August report from J.D. Power & Associates suggests consumers are largely turning a blind eye towards connected-car technologies.

One finding in particular indicates Cortana, Siri, and their digital friends will face an uphill battle when it comes to consumer acceptance. The report found that 43 per cent of car owners surveyed in the report said they never use their in-vehicle concierge.

The report also revealed features that are specifically not wanted include CarPlay and Android Auto, along with in-vehicle concierge services and in-vehicle voice texting.

"While automakers are spending a lot of money on in-vehicle technology, consumers also are paying for the feature," noted Kristin Kolodge, executive director of driver interaction and HMI research at J.D. Power. "If new-vehicle owners are not using the technology in their current vehicle, most say they don't want it in their future vehicles."

Despite the report's finding, Microsoft, Apple and Google seem to be moving ahead. For instance, using a range of devices, services and technology, Windows Embedded Automotive 7 includes HUDs, eye tracking and voice technology.

Microsoft is also touting its experience of more than 10 years in the automotive space and its relationships with automakers including Ford, Fiat, Nissan and Kia.

Taking a look at possible rivals, Apple's CarPlay, which is available on select cars, features Siri voice control. It is specially designed for driving scenarios and also works with a car's controls, whether knobs, buttons, or touch screens.

Android Auto, designed to work with Android smartphones running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, was also designed to minimise driver distraction. It offers an intuitive interface featuring integrated steering wheel controls and voice commands.

The platform is available for a range of automotive brands worldwide, including Audi and Ford. It is available in 11 different countries.

At the same time, automakers are developing their own proprietary connected car platforms. A July report from Reuters said those companies may not be interested in sharing the data they gather from customers.

- Nathan Eddy

Comment on "Microsoft looks to bring Cortana to ..."
*  You can enter [0] more charecters.
*Verify code:


Visit Asia Webinars to learn about the latest in technology and get practical design tips.


Go to top             Connect on Facebook      Follow us on Twitter      Follow us on Orkut

Back to Top