Ford to Use Microsoft for Wireless Updates in Next-Generation Cars - Corporate Intelligence - WSJFord Motor Co. is turning to longtime partner Microsoft Corp. to make over-the-air software updates standard in its next generation of cars.
The Dearborn, Mich., auto maker said Tuesday it would pair up with the tech giant to create a new cloud-based network that would allow it to beam down new programming to its cars to update everything including display screen graphics and voice-recognition software.
The cloud connectivity starts rolling out this year with the latest generation of Ford’s Sync3 multimedia system, which will be available on some 2015 models and across the auto maker’s lineup by the end of 2016.
The move comes as auto makers are trying to find new ways to use the explosion of mobile connectivity to keep their cars current and potentially diagnose problems without having to bring the car into a repair shop. Such upgrades already are commonplace in tablets, mobile phones and other personal electronics.