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In-car experience set for a facelift

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The inside of your car may soon look very different, with the news that Siemens VDO Automotive and Microsoft will join forces to develop in-vehicle communication, information, entertainment and navigation products. 

This new generation of automotive products will be designed to meet the industry’s growing demand for innovative, flexible and affordable solutions. Working together, Siemens VDO and Microsoft will be able to deliver these advanced solutions to market much faster than the typical automotive industry’s product development cycle.
According to current planning, the first Siemens VDO product based on Microsoft software technology is expected to go into production as early as 2009.
Siemens VDO will bring to market a new generation of automotive infotainment systems that include navigation, high-end multimedia units and interfaces to connect portable electronic entertainment devices using the Microsoft software technology platform.
Microsoft’s expertise in software for multimedia, entertainment and communications solutions in combination with Siemens VDO’s long years of experience in the development of in-vehicle multimedia and infotainment systems forms the ideal basis for this collaboration. Siemens VDO’s system know-how in the design of infotainment systems and their integration and networking in the vehicle will play an important role.
The collaboration will provide both companies with definite strategic advantages. By using the Microsoft Auto platform, a robust and general-purpose in-car software technology, Siemens VDO will be able to fully concentrate on its key competences of system design, vehicle integration, driver assistance systems and safety systems.
In addition, Siemens VDO will also be able to actively help shape Microsoft Auto and license platform-compliant applications, such as navigation functions, for third-party suppliers.
Microsoft will concentrate on the further development of Microsoft Auto with a special focus on multimedia applications and the integration of portable consumer devices. Extensive experience in the field of consumer electronics helps ensure that the solutions resulting from this collaborative effort will be compatible with current and future mobile devices and Internet services.
The first milestone in the collaboration is a multimedia platform that Siemens VDO is developing based on Microsoft Auto. This platform will make it possible to integrate functions and portable devices from the field of consumer electronics more closely into the vehicle as soon as 2009.
Consequently, new solutions in consumer electronics will be adapted for in-vehicle use more quickly and easily, since it will only be necessary to add individual software components. This helps close the gap between the short development cycles in communications and information technology and the comparatively long product life cycles in automotive engineering.