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How India's Biggest Ride-Sharing Company Plans To Use This Global Tech Giant's Cloud Tech Microsoft will leverage its expertise in AI and IoT to enhance riding experience.

By Agamoni Ghosh

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After Google and Apple both pulled back last year from its plans to manufacture self-driven or connected cars for the future, tech giants in the Silicon Valley have been eyeing partnerships with auto manufacturers and fleet companies to enhance their technology. The latest of these deals was made between India's biggest ride-hailing company Ola and global cloud leader Microsoft.

The companies have decided to collaborate to build a new connected vehicle platform for car manufacturer. Furthermore, Ola announced that Microsoft will be its preferred cloud provider with Microsoft Azure being used to power Ola Play, the company's existing connected car platform..

"Today's car is quickly becoming the ultimate computing device and together with Ola, we're focused on providing more intelligent, connected and productive experiences to our customers," said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft on his visit to India.

Prepping for Cars of The Future

The vehicle diagnostics being developed by the two companies is expected to improved in-car productivity, advanced navigation, predictive maintenance of vehicles and more. It is not known who are the manufacturers the companies plan on approaching, but car makers like Hyundai, Honda and Toyota have expressed in the past the desire to collaborate with tech companies for the software integration part.

Microsoft will leverage its expertise in AI and IoT to enhance not just passenger but also driver experiences, with telematics. The platform will be designed to continually collect, analyze, and learn from high volumes of data and user behavior, to offer customized services and business models.

Big Leap for Ola

Just weeks back, Ola had raised about $2bn in new funding from SoftBank, Tencent Holdings and other investors. It was rumoured earlier that Microsoft was also interested n investing in the company, but nothing materialized in that sphere. With the latest partnership with Microsoft though, the ride-hailing company has take a big step ahead of its main competitor Uber in India, even though globally Uber is at advanced stages of testing self-riding cars.

"With Microsoft, we can make the new platform available to a larger, global audience and unlock futuristic experiences for customers worldwide," said Bhavish Aggarwal, Co-Founder and CEO of Ola.

Agamoni Ghosh

Former Staff, Entrepreneur India

She was generating stories out of Bengaluru for Entrepreneur India. She has worked with leading national and international business publications, including Newsweek, Business Standard, and CNBC in the past. 

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