Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Tata Motors, Microsoft collaborate for connected cars

The partnership to help car maker launch cars with industry leading digital and connected technology

Published: Feb 16, 2017 05:48:30 PM IST
Updated: Feb 16, 2017 05:52:47 PM IST

Tata Motors, Microsoft collaborate for connected cars
The steering wheel and dashboard of the new Tata ConnectNext concept car are seen during the second press day ahead of the 85th International Motor Show in Geneva March 4, 2015. (Picture for representational purpose only)
Image: Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters

When it comes to making announcements as part of what it calls as a ‘transformative journey’, Tata Motors is on adrenalin. Close on the heels of announcing an all new vertical `Tamo’ and unveiling its new passenger vehicle strategy  earlier this month, the company today said that it has entered into a strategic collaboration with Microsoft to offer future leading technologies when it comes to connected cars. The collaboration will leverage Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies. The partnership began in early 2016 and the first car that will feature the technology will be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in March this year. It will feature functionalities such as advanced navigation, predictive maintenance, telematics and remote monitoring features.

“This partnership will change Tata Motors and Microsoft in India,” said Guenter Butschek, CEO & MD, Tata Motors. “We at Tata Motors understand the need for a connected ecosystem that can integrate into the digital lives of the customers. We are using Microsoft’s connected vehicle technologies on Azure intelligent cloud to bring the digital lives of our customers into the cars they drive….we will create a fully connected and seamless driving experience for our customers,” he added.

Microsoft India’s president Anant Maheshwari was equally excited about the partnership. “Our collaboration will ensure that Tata Motors cars are more productive, more safer and more proactive,” he said.

The connected cars that this partnership will build can check the vehicle health through remote diagnosis and offer maintenance alert, offer navigation and real time alerts about traffic jams ahead and possible alternate routes, food and beverages alerts enroute, and much more.

Butschek said that connected cars are very critical for Tata Motors to become a youthful brand. “We need to be in the heart and the mind of youngsters,” he said.

Globally, Microsoft is already working with Renault and Nissan using its connected vehicle platform. Tata Motors clarified that this collaboration will be India specific as the needs of the consumers in the country was very different. The car maker hopes to leverage Microsoft’s global expertise to identify and use relevant useful features and functionalities that come at an optimum cost.

This is yet another step by Tata Motors to transform itself and become a meaningful player in the Indian automotive market. Under Butschek, it is re-organising itself completely. It has ramped up its product development skills to launch market leading products in a much truncated lead time and embraced innovation; it has floated `Tamo’ – an incubator styled vertical that will work with partners to test and manufacture futuristic products and now the tie-up with Microsoft to build connected cars that will enhance customer satisfaction.