Microsoft and Mercedes-Benz announced a collaboration at IFA 2016 that would make it easier for people on the go to stay connected and finish tasks. Called “In Car Office,” the project aims to deliver more productivity features to the car such as support for Microsoft Exchange. Items from a user’s work calendar, to-do list and contacts will become available in In Car Office and will then offer suggestions such as destinations, calls to make, and more based on the information it has obtained.
With In Car Office, users can stay on top of things and go through some work tasks smoothly. In Car Office will suggest destinations based on your next meeting, or provide a notification of what your next agenda item is. This aims to lessen some of the distraction associated with driving while multitasking. People are now accustomed to doing other tasks while driving, even if it is not safe. In Car Office will be able to deliver some work-oriented requirements without prompting, freeing drivers from having to search contacts on their phones or looking at the calendar to see the time of their next meeting.
Microsoft won’t build a car
One might think that this is a first step on Microsoft’s plan to create its own autonomous vehicle, but in an interview in June, executive vice president of business development Peggy Johnson said the company is not in the business of building its own self-driving car.
“We won’t be building our own autonomous vehicle, but we would like to enable autonomous vehicles and assisted driving as well,” Johnson said. “We can certainly do the operating system of the car. You’re sitting in the car for many, many minutes a day. Can that be part of your new office, can it be your new desk, a place where you actually get work done? We believe it can. Each of them [automakers] had a little something different that they wanted, and we were able to help enable them.”
In Car Office is expected to be available in select Mercedes models sometime next year.
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