Microsoft Automotive News | November 2020

Ein Auto auf einer digitalen Straße
With autumn in full swing, it continues to be an exciting time for Microsoft in automotive. We were recently featured in a Financial Times story, Microsoft sets sights on ‘auto connectivity,’ highlighting our efforts to enable automakers with connected vehicle technologies. I particularly liked how the article called out our emphasis on building trust with automakers, supplying them with connected technologies, and not competing with them. 

At our recent Ignite 2020 conference, we announced new capabilities around Power Platform, Dynamics 365, and Azure Arc, which help organizations digitize their end-to-end business operations and swiftly react to a changing market. The Microsoft for Startups: Autonomous Driving Program was also featured at Ignite. UK-based Wayve, a self-driving startup that is pioneering advanced AI software for the next generation of self-driving cars, spoke about its unique end-to-end reinforcement learning-based approach. 

Mixed Reality was also a hot topic at Ignite. During her keynote presentation, Microsoft CVP of Business Applications & Global Industry, Alysa Taylor, featured Mercedes Benz and their innovative use of HoloLens 2 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Remote Assist to enable remote vehicle maintenance in nearly 400 dealerships in the United States. Similarly, BMW is taking new approaches with AI and mixed Reality to support internal training and sales.  

Toyota is also using HoloLens 2to assist with the analysis of aerodynamics during the vehicle design process. By using multiple HoloLens 2 devices, Toyota’s team can share their virtual view with others to streamline the design review process, even while working remotely. Also, Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) uses Power Platform, Teams, and Azure Arc to drive faster results. In his blog, James Philips, president, Microsoft Business Applications, highlighted how TMNA is leveraging Power Apps, with over 400 applications in progress, along with over 800 Power Automate flows, to help them improve business processes and boost customer service and satisfaction. 

Sustainability continues to be a key focus for Microsoft in automotive. Microsoft recently expanded our sustainability goals to reduce our carbon footprint. We plan to make the company carbon-negative by 2030, and we back that commitment with a $1B investment in the Climate Innovation Fund over four years. Open access to data is essential to sustainability, especially in automotive. The right information access can help a shipping company divide freight among trucks to maximize capacity. It could also help taxi drivers predict traffic and passenger demand to save fuel. Scenarios like these drive Microsoft’s commitment to address the “data divide” through the Open Data Campaign. Of course, no single company can do this alone. We welcome all our customers and partners to join us in this initiative. 

I also want to say thank you! Despite these turbulent times, I’m amazed at the resiliency and rebound we’re seeing in the auto industry. We’re proud to continue our partnership to drive innovation together.


Sanjay Ravi

General Manager, Microsoft Automotive

Industry Insights

Logo of the Envision Forum Microsoft Envision Forum 2020 Automotive 

#ReimagineTheFuture – that was the theme of our most important industry conference in Germany on the 27th and 28th of October. Missed a session? Watch them on-demand and discover smart solutions and tech trends for what lies ahead in the global Automotive industry. 

Automotive Sessions On-Demand 

Blick in eine Fertigungshalle mit einem Hologramm eines Autos Microsoft Innovation Talk: IIoT and Smart Factory at Schaeffler AG (Dec 1, online) 2020  

Join our next Microsoft Innovation Talk for the manufacturing and automotive industry and gain insights into data-driven system architectures in industrial production, based on the Microsoft IoT Reference Platform. Hans Fleischmann, tech expert Strategic IT, and Bertram Holzer, tech expert Operations IT at Schaeffler, share their experiences in creating the future of the smart factory. 

Register now 

A man sitting in a car Microsoft sets sights on ‘auto connectivity 

Patrick McGee’s article in the Financial Times describes how over-the-air systems empower new connected vehicle experiences and how Microsoft’s trusted technology platform helps customers deliver new mobility services that differentiate their business.  

Read more 

Graphic of a red car Strategies Redefining Mobility Business ModelsSales, Service, and Experience 

This report by PSFK, in partnership with Microsoft, explores the future state of the automotive industry through five forward-looking user journeys. They highlight the advantage of digital transformation through the adoption of networked data, connected vehicles and operations, intelligent automation, and a digitally-enabled supply chain. The insights learned can help manufacturers, OEMs, and dealers understand how cloud-based solutions can transform their businesses and drive new service levels across the value chain.  

Download the report here 

Automotive Highlights  

Man driving a car BMW’s innovation projects supported by Microsoft technologies  

BMW is taking new approaches with AI and Mixed Reality to support internal training, sales, and more. 

Find out more here 

Man working with HoloLens HoloLens 2 powers faster fixes for Mercedes-Benz USA 

Find out how Mercedes-Benz USA will use Dynamics 365 Remote Assist technologies and HoloLens 2 to reduce cost, lessen environmental impact, and increase service efficiency. Learn more at these links:  

Story    Blog     Video   


Man standing in front of a blue car is working with HoloLens Toyota makes mixed reality magic  

Learn how Unity and HoloLens 2 have helped Toyota to streamline processes while increasing understanding and saving time.

Learn more 


Charging of an electric car Reducing our carbon impact 

Microsoft is helping reduce the auto industry’s carbon footprint. Open data sharing is one key to this challenge. Read more in this The Record article. 

Read article 

Herbert Diess and Satya Nadella Digital transformation  

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, spoke with Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess about new opportunities in the auto industry.  

See the video 

Man working in a server room Power of data insights 

John Stenlake’s third article in The Record discusses how to tap AI to extract actionable insights from data – and use predictive modeling for capabilities like Bridgestone’s tire damage alert system.  

Read more 

BMW unlocks innovation to unleash mobility  

The BMW special edition of the automotiveIT September issue (online and print) features a full-page story titled “Jointly unlocking innovation that impacts the future of mobility and empowers everyone at the BMW Group to achieve more.” It showcases testimonials of eight leaders in several joint innovation projects across the BMW Group around the globe.  

Learn more 

Inside a Bosch Factory Bosch embraces digital twins to enhance sustainability 

Bosch Building Technologies wanted to evolve its IoT offerings for energy monitoring, energy reduction, and cost savings. With Azure Digital Twins incorporated into the solution, customers gain predictive insights to reduce energy consumption. 

Read more 

Several white and black cars Volkswagen Financial Services transforms development practice 

To reach its digital transformation goals, Volkswagen Financial Services chose to modernize its apps. By supporting its DevOps practices with Microsoft Azure Stack Hub, VW Financial Services delivers applications and services faster. 

Learn more 

A racing car Driving innovation for “ever-better cars 

Toyota Gazoo Racing is on a quest to overcome the limits of the road. Find out how they’re developing new technological solutions at the speed of a world-class rally team.  

Find out more 

A green and black car Autonomous driving: Petabytes constantly under control 

Learn how Elektrobit taps Azure to collect huge volumes of sensor data used in autonomous driving.  

Learn more 

Hologram of a street with several cars Reimagining Beyond COVID-19 

In this blog post, Sanjay Ravi offers perspective on the ways companies today innovate for improved operational resiliency, business continuity, and tech intensity.  

Read more 

Man working in an office with several screens on his desk Cloud technologies advance operational process 

John Reed, Director of Automotive Solutions at Microsoft, speaks to David Mackenzie, Director of Global Accounts at Annata, about intermixing legacy and new technologies in the cloud to improve operational transformation.  

See the replay here 

Hologram of a car ElringKlinger takes internal reporting to new levels   

With Azure, AzureSQL, and Power BI, automotive engineering supplier ElringKlinger has a flexible platform to speed data analysis, prototyping, and testing.  

Learn more 

Car factory Intelligent production 

The Record talks with Darren Coil about how mixed Reality and AI can help with supply chain optimization, rapid prototyping, and predicting inventory demand. 

Find out how 

A woman working in an office Gartner Magic Quadrant  

Gartner’s 2020 Magic Quadrant for Low Code Application Platforms names @MSPowerApps as a Leader!  Great seeing Toyota and others mentioned for helping to drive PowerApps capabilities and vision forward.  

Read more 

Factory worker using HoloLens Azure Object Anchors is now in private preview  

Azure Object Anchors, one of the newly launched MR Azure Services, helps developers build applications to automatically detect a specific physical object in the user’s environment and align 3D content without markers.  

Learn more 

Events and Webinars

A laptop on a desk Announcing Microsoft Power Platform and Dynamics 365 updates  

At Ignite, Microsoft shared details on new capabilities to build resiliency into every layer of business. Among other details in this blog by James Phillips, he describes how Toyota Motor North America is solving business problems with the Power Platform. More than 400 applications are in progress, along with more than 800 Power Automate flows, to help Toyota improve business processes and boost customer service and satisfaction.  

Read more  

Logo of the Azure Virtual Training Days Register for Microsoft Azure Virtual Training Day! 

This “Fundamentals” session will explore cloud-computing concepts, models, and services, covering topics such as public, private, hybrid cloud, and more. By attending the event, you will have the knowledge needed to take the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals certification exam for free at a date of your choice. Multiple session dates and replays are available, starting November 4.  

Learn more 

Logo of the Dynamics 365 Webinar Microsoft Dynamics 365 Webinar: Digital Customer Journey as an automotive industry success factor (Germany) 

In this webinar replay, our colleagues Rebekka Arbara and Duc Nguyen, with our partner Cluster Reply, discuss how our customers can grow the impact of a 360-view. Topics include the integration of Internet of Things (IoT) and the importance of trusted relationships.  

Registration website