back to article Volkswagen links arms with Microsoft for data-slurping cloud on Azure

Volkswagen is plugging its cars – and your data – into a cloud built on Microsoft Azure. "The Volkswagen Automotive cloud will be built from the ground up on top of Microsoft's Azure cloud and IoT Edge platform as its technology foundation," beamed Microsoft in a statement. We are told that VW will be forking out for access …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jesus Fucking Christ

    Is VW deliberately trying to go bust?

  2. johnnyblaze

    OMG. Another reason *never* to buy a VW.

    1. MJI Silver badge

      managed to get to mid 50s and

      Never owned a VW, have I missed anything?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just in case you where tempted to buy one...

  4. Dwarf Silver badge

    Peace and quiet

    One reason to get into the car and concentrate on one single thing - driving.

    When I'm out of the car I'll focus on the other things.

    How will they fix the issue of there being say 4 people in the car, all wanting to listen to different music or when the passenger wants to do something meeting related and its nothing to do with the driver.

    1. Lars Silver badge

      Re: Peace and quiet

      "How will they fix the issue of there being say 4 people".

      Not a family guy are you.

  5. Dan 55 Silver badge

    "The idea is to keep the driver connected with products such as Skype"

    The jokes write themselves.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Plugging the car into the cloud

    Thanks for the heads-up.

    Given that VW is probably just the first to do this, the day I buy a new car I will know that I have to find a means to locally disrupt phone stuff to prevent any proper connection between my car and whatever shite this tech is trying to connect to.

    I just hope that it won't affect GPS.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Plugging the car into the cloud

      "I just hope that it won't affect GPS"

      You can always use a standalone third party GPS system. I wouldn't trust any of the "consumer" electronic systems built into cars these days at all.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Plugging the car into the cloud

      Would that be the cloud of noxious gases from VW's cheat-o-riffic software?

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Presumably the windscreen turns blue when the car encounters one of the little 'problems' that so plague Microsoft products.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      I have an old Fiat which has a bluetooth/phone system controlled by MS. Sometimes I have to stop and turn everything off at the ignition before it will behave.

      So far, I have not yet had to close all the windows...

  8. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Conference call in a car

    Like conference calls aren't shit enough as it is.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Conference call in a car

      Nothing that can't be made worse. Particularly when it comes to technology.

  9. MMR


    Accessing those services on the road can be problematic, since applications from third-party providers typically don't talk to each other in a seamless way

    Right, because this is why I get in a car. Not to drive it but to use apps in it.

  10. malle-herbert Silver badge

    Here in my car...

    I don't feel safe at all...

    I can lock all my doors...

    But they're still getting in..

    With SaaS....

  11. Porco Rosso

    The Digital CarPass

    I truly hope VW gives owners of the car an option to permanently delete all these Services and to

    to rip out these IOTA -tracking module and its local HD and WIFI uplink to Azure out of the car

    and that we can still drive it ...

    1. ivan5

      Re: The Digital CarPass

      and that we can still drive it ...

      Knowing Microslurp if you try and turn any of it off the car stops working. It is better to stay with your old unconnected car.

  12. 2+2=5 Silver badge

    Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

    > We envision the automobile evolving into a central hub in the Internet of Things, enabling customers to take their world into their vehicles," said the German car maker's Heiko Huettel, chief of its connected car division

    We already have Carplay / Android Auto and they're not exactly taking over the world. It's hard to see how the driver would want the car to provide anything more than screen, speakers and power for their own phone. It's even harder to see how VW could provide something unique over and above this. It's even harder still to imagine a subset of drivers that would actually want it.

    1. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

      "It's even harder still to imagine a subset of drivers that would actually want it."

      Yes, but that doesn't matter. These capabilities aren't being included to please drivers. Car manufacturers want to get in on the cash cow that comes from spying on everybody, and they're all going to do it. It doesn't matter even a little whether or not drivers actually want this shit when you can't buy a car without it.

      1. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

        I see a new "grey market" for auto anti-slurp technology! There's the profit!

        1. ivan5

          Re: Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

          I see a new "grey market" for auto anti-slurp technology!

          The real profit will come to whoever designs and markets something to shut all that crap down and still leave the car operational.

          1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

            Re: Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

            I see a market opportunity for generic engine and transmission control computers that only talk to each other.

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

        Ah.... Mobile Clippy for the car: "Hey, your tires need rotating, use this place" and you can call them now."

        1. Fungus Bob Silver badge

          Re: Carplay / Android Auto plus magic = profit!

          Clippy is stupid - the tires rotate themselves when you drive...

  13. Oneman2Many

    I guess they didn't want to join,

    BMW's CarData

    GM OnStar

    Ford's TMC

    All trying to gather and monetise your data but all on different platforms. So if I was a parking company for example I now need to speak to 30 different suppliers instead of single one for the automotive industry.

    Doesn't bode well for v2v communications.

  14. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge



  15. Someone Else Silver badge

    Lemme hear you say, "Duh!!"

    "A driver might, for example, be listening to music at home and want to continue listening as she gets in her car, then need to jump on a conference call, then check her online calendar. Accessing those services on the road can be problematic, since applications from third-party providers typically don't talk to each other in a seamless way," continued Microsoft, seemingly not aware of the glaring road safety problem with reading a calendar while trying to drive.

    Yeah, accessing those services on the road can indeed be problematic, because you're supposed to be fucking driving your fucking car when you're on the road, you fucking git! Leave it to Micros~1 to enable the worst possible behavior in yet another area of endeavor.

    1. hottuberrol

      Re: Lemme hear you say, "Duh!!"

      Just to compound the irony/stupidity - i worked for a large mobile carrier whose company policy is "thou shalt not make/take work calls while driving". Wonder if that's the carrier VW is using....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lemme hear you say, "Duh!!"

      The paragraph you quoted is aimed at 20-30something women. They’re a different species; totally self-obsessed, but generally harmless, unless you happen to be near an example in a car.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Lemme hear you say, "Duh!!"

      I see so watching BBC News (24) then hop in car...............

      Actually often I have the car quiet no radio no CD just the car noises.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Self-driving cars

    Maybe it's just a ploy to encourage people to want self-driving cars as they can't possibly drive safely with all those distractions going on.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Self-driving cars

      Self-driving cars, using Microsoft's (newly acquired) Robot Operating System (ROS).

      What could possibly go wrong...go wrong...go wrong...go wrong...go wrong...go wrong....

  17. Howard Hanek Bronze badge


    Their collaborating on a new diesel powered version of Windows that will pass emissions tests. It just needs some 'tweaking'.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So now there's 3 Reasons to dump Volkswagen




  19. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

    Speaking of Volkswagen

    I just found its namesake at GitHub

  20. SeanSkiVT

    Good lord, VW can't even design a water pump or ignition coil that'll go 50k miles without grenading, and that's one of their core competencies. I can only imagine what a dumpster fire this will be.

    At the risk of sounding like a huge luddite, why can't a car just be a car anymore? If I could just walk into a dealership and get a brand new bugeye WRX wagon, or an e46 330i, or a 993 911, each with a proper manual transmission, that had been updated with bluetooth for phone calls and media (and maybe CarPlay and Android Auto), I'd do it in a heartbeat. I don't need my car to have a 10.5" touchscreen, an LCD screen where my gauges used to be, and the ability to read me my tweets.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not what it appears to be

      1. Now days VW doesn't design their water pumps or ignition coils which typically last 100K or more, their suppliers of these components do the design, engineering and validation of these components just like every other car maker's suppliers do. If a particular component fails prematurely it's the supplier not VW who is typically responsible.

      2. The reason why you can't buy a new auto without a 10.5" touchscreen is because the majority of afflicted car buyers insists on these entertainment distractions so they can talk and text while driving. By making one standardized dash design car makers reduce costs for multiple designs including wiring harnesses, instruments, etc. While I agree it's a PITA it's the way most manufacturing is going where the market masses determine the end product not necessarily reason or logic.

      3. The reason why Porsche and others are not offering manual transmissions in many models is because sales of dual clutch trans outnumber manual trans by substantial volume, especially in the U.S. Again it cost more money per car to have multiple powertrain options, inventory and production line variations.

      4. Expect fire sale pricing on EVs by 2020 as many large auto makers bet the farm (and lose) on impractical for most motorists EVs. VW and Mercedes have already started their assault on Tesla so it's just a matter of time before Tesla and Musk are forced to throw in the towel, especially with the mounting lawsuits, SEC multimillion fines, DOJ criminal investigation and so much more.

      5. The "connected car" idea and the cloud sounds great in principle but in reality it's much like the digital ignition key that hackers have already compromised. Just imagine what is going to happen to "connected cars" when the OS goes BSOD. How's that gonna work out for accident prevention? Will EVs and AVs go into "limp Mode" at 60 mph? More lawsuits to fix the rush-to-market mentality no doubt.

      1. Oneman2Many

        Re: Not what it appears to be

        1. Suppliers aren't typically responsible unless there is a manufacturing defect. Parts will have been to VM specs and design certified by VM.

        2. While there is some drive from consumers for all these gadgets however the bigger driver is the 'me too' factor. Nobody wants to be one not offering big touch screen controls.

        4. Most manufactures are expected BEV to be niche for time yet. Tesla will be around for a few years to come.

        5. Connected car is already a given thanks to the EU insisting that you car can call emergency services in the event of accident. Don't forget that insurance companies have been collecting data for years already even if they can't access car controls yet.

      2. JohnFen Silver badge

        Re: Not what it appears to be

        "If a particular component fails prematurely it's the supplier not VW who is typically responsible."

        Not in my view. I don't care who makes what component. The auto manufacturer is responsible for each and every one of the components that went into it, irrespective of whether they bought the component or made it themselves.

  21. ThatOne Silver badge
    Big Brother

    Resistance is futile

    As somebody already said, car makers want a slice of that new shiny pie that is detailed customer lives. Where do you live, where do you go, when do you do it, how do you drive, how many people are with you (Friends? Family?), so they can sell (or lose) it to anybody interested.

    They will make sure you can't turn the collection of data off, give it a nice flattering name like "personalized experience" and justify it with some "it's for your own good" kind of excuse. Most people won't care anyway, they have already told everything to everybody on Facebook/Twitter, so why shouldn't car makers be too shy to hop on that bandwagon too?

  22. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Match made in ...

    The marriage of 2 sleazy organizations can only result in a massive fiasco for customers.

  23. Big Al 23

    Another Facebook hack in the making

    Based on Microsoft's inability to deliver secure OSs or software of any kind, it's safe to expect a monumental security intrusion in Microsoft's cloud if it has not already been compromised by many.

  24. MrNigel

    Just playing catch up to BMW...

    ......but even I as an ardent Microsofteee won't pay £60/year to activate their Office 365 email client. They need to find a cheaper data provider so they can reinstate OTA map updates. 2018-3 update was 26GB and the download to PC, unzip to USB (which must be FAT32) then upload to car takes about 5 hours.

  25. iowe_iowe

    Cool - the opportunity to play Grand Theft Auto while you're driving a car....

  26. Chronos Silver badge

    New model

    Volkswagen Up! Down. Up! Down. Up! Down.

  27. MJI Silver badge

    Modern Diesels

    Actually I have noticed that the more recent Diesels smell funny, a bit like a gas leak.

    Not sure if due to EU4, or the inject on exhaust stroke, or if related to urea injection.

    But I can smell a modern Diesel

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