Ford using Microsoft for cloud-based update service

Ford has called on the services of Microsoft to further enhance the level of connectivity across its fleet, news which underpins the manufacturer’s aim to bring the latest technology to its vehicles.

Marking the first time Ford has used Microsoft since the computing giant helped them develop the SYNC infotainment system, it is hoped that the new alliance will bring about completely new cloud-based services so Ford can begin providing over-the-air software updates. It means that drivers will be able to update performance, add new functions and rectify errors in their new cars or new vans from Ford without having to visit a dealership – offering better convenience for the consumer.

Automated downloads for added convenience

Currently the only way for Ford customers to obtain connected car updates is to visit an official dealership or download them on their computer and transfer them via a USB stick. The new technology means that the car will check for and download updates as soon as it detects a WiFi connection and download the necessaries in the background to avoid disrupting the system.

When speaking about the development, Don Butler, Ford’s director of connected vehicles, said that it’s an example of Ford realising that they are more and more becoming a software and technology company.

The wireless updates will be made available for US customers by the summer, at the same time when Ford launches its first cars with SYNC 3. The platform uses QNX, the operating system of Blackberry, but the updates will be provided by Microsoft’s Azure cloud service. It’s thought the technology will replicate a similar service which is offered by Tesla, one so advanced that it is even used to announce product recalls.

To learn more about the cloud-based updates which will become available in new Ford cars in the future, head to one of the official Ford car dealerships in Andover, Salisbury and other areas of Southern England that are operated by Foray Motor Group.

Image Credit: Sinchen.Lin (Flickr.com)

This content was written by Ben Edwards. Please feel free to visit my Google+ Profile to read more stories.