Microsoft Corporation has announced it will work on the technology to develop driver-less cars in alliance with Swedish auto maker Volvo. The firms said early Friday that the two main areas of their partnership will be to develop self running cars, and upgrade the process of car buying using Microsoft HoloLens headsets.
“Technology will transform when it comes to autonomous cars…We believe this will happen…as tech and automotive industry comes closer to explore this together,” Björn Annwall, Senior VP at Volvo, told CNBC.
“We are exploring a number of different collaborations,” Annwall said, adding that exact details of the nature of their tie-up would be released later.
With this move, Microsoft Corporation joins a growing list of tech majors who have forayed in to the auto space. Last month, South Korea’s LG said that it would be providing some key parts for GM’s upcoming electric car. Google is also reportedly testing driver less cars. While Wall Street is rife with rumors that Apple will launch its own vehicle.
Volvo Talks About the Future
Volvo, like many other car makers, is keen to make self running vehicles. Earlier this week, Volvo unveiled a model of a driver less car’s interior, and named it Concept 26.
“Autonomous driving is at the center of Volvo’ strategy and future. The Concept 26 is a concept of what we view the interior will look like quite soon as we have made the design compatible with our cars,” Annwall noted.
Although details are sketchy, the two firms are hoping to work on building computers that can learn to adapt and make decisions based on the data available.
Microsoft makes car buying more fun
However, one feature that was outlined by both the firms was Microsoft Corporation ’s Holo Lens. These headsets that project 3-D images on real objects could be used to make the process of car buying easier. The results were first visible today in a virtual showroom at Microsoft’s Redmond base.
Annwall explained that buyers who come to a Volvo shop could make use of Holo Lens to see the car in 3-D, alter colors and understand how the different features work.
“Here you will get full scale and can look up to it can touch it, get into it and get that mix of digital and feel and touch of physical world that we know customers will appreciate,” Annwall said to CNBC’s Arjun Kharpal.
Shares of Microsoft Corporation closed Thursday at $53.94. The stock is up 16% year to date.