Volkswagen’s Car.Software arm will collaborate with Microsoft to create a cloud-based automated driving platform to advance its self-driving vehicle technologies.

Dirk Hilgenberg, head of the Car.Software division, said: “As we transform Volkswagen Group into a digital mobility provider, we are looking to continuously increase the efficiency of our software development.” He also added: “By combining our comprehensive expertise in the development of connected driving solutions with Microsoft’s cloud and software engineering know-how, we will accelerate the delivery of safe and comfortable mobility services.”

One of the outputs will be over-the-air software updates similar to that already offered by Tesla. In this respect the collaboration has many parallels with the recently announced tie up between Ford and Google.

VW is planning to use the new software in its VW ID.4 and upcoming ID.6 battery EV in 2022.

Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s executive vice president of Cloud +AI, said, “This is the next evolution of our foundational work with the Volkswagen Group to enhance their transformation as a software-driven mobility provider,” he said. “The power of Microsoft Azure and its compute, data, and AI capabilities will enable Volkswagen to deliver secure and reliable automated driving solutions to their customers faster.”