HARMAN (NYSE: HAR), the premier connected technologies company for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced a connected car collaboration with Microsoft Corp. at CES 2016. This project will introduce new mobile productivity services, as well as utilise existing products, services and technologies, including cloud platforms, telematics and driver productivity, to offer better convenience, safety and reliability for drivers and greater operating efficiency for auto manufacturers. Most importantly, the collaboration will integrate key elements of Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite capabilities into HARMAN infotainment systems.
This collaboration is a first for Microsoft in the connected car space and represents a new emphasis on productivity within the car. With access to relevant Office 365 services through intelligent personal assistant software, drivers can complete tasks without compromising safety, including scheduling meetings, hearing and responding to emails, automatically joining conference calls without having to manually input the phone number and passcode, and seamlessly managing events and tasks throughout the day. Drivers will also be able to hold Skype calls and conferences when in park, or on the road with autonomous vehicles. In addition, with HARMAN’s over-the-air (OTA) incremental update capabilities, the most current version of Office 365 will always be accessible to drivers.
“Working with Microsoft is a natural fit for HARMAN as we continue our track record of making the car more sophisticated, productive and intelligent,” said Phil Eyler, president, HARMAN Connected Car. “Drivers want an immersive, and personalised experience in the car. Increasingly, that includes strong demands for richer productivity. This collaboration will bring these functionalities to market with, importantly, great reliability, security and minimal driver distraction.”
“Bringing the power of Office 365 into HARMAN’s connected car systems will provide new productivity solutions and transform the driving experience,” said Peggy Johnson, executive vice president of business development, Microsoft. “By ensuring that Office 365 services are seamlessly integrated with car and driver telematics and performance data, we will allow consumers to be more productive during their driving hours, while enjoying far greater convenience, safety and reliability.”