At their CES press conference today, Nissan finally showed off the Cortana functionality that they've been teasing at. Nissan is going to be the very first company to make use of Microsoft's new Connected Vehicle Platform, using an array of Azure cloud technologies in order to make driving more connected, more productive, and just all-around better.
It was announced during the keynote that Cortana is going to be directly built into Nissan's compatible vehicles using "Intelligent Mobility Technology", and it seems like it's going to work very similarly to how it works on your Windows 10/Windows 10 Mobile Device. Just talk to Cortana in your car, and it'll talk back. You can of course move around things in your schedule and queue up music - the normal Cortana functionality - but it seems like there's a lot more going on.
Nissan's Cortana functionality is also going to enable its users to have a lot more control over navigation and car upkeep. If your car needs to be serviced, for example, Cortana will tell you and you'll be able to automatically schedule a fix-up. You'll also be able to modify the route you're taking just by speaking a few words to Cortana - no more fiddling around with your phone while you're at the wheel.
— Nissan Motor (@NissanMotor) January 6, 2017
Nissan also announced Seamless Autonomous Mobility (SAM). This technology provides a solution for the problem of unexpected obstructions in the road, and features the same "human in the loop" technology that NASA uses in order to keep an eye on its interplanetary rovers. More than anything, SAM is focused around creating a safe environment for drivers who - very understandably - don't want to dedicate their driving to an automated car.
The conference only lasted about 30 minutes, and details were scarce, but there was still plenty of information teasing us about the future of Cortana, Nissan, and smart cars in general. On top of the announcement of SAM and Microsoft's new Connected Vehicle Platform, we also got a tease about a new Nissan LEAF coming out in the near future. For now, we'll have to keep an eye out to see just how Nissan continues to develop Cortana and the Azure cloud into a new frontier of mobility.