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Microsoft Testing Out Connected Car Prototype Featuring Cortana

Cortana
(Photo : Wikimedia Commons / PauloPark02 / CC)

It seems Microsoft is looking to go beyond the world of PCs and smartphones with the introduction of its virtual personal assistant Cortana in automobiles.

With the help of Cortana, drivers will be able to view information they need through a connected car's windshield, according to The Verge.

Reports about the Redmond-based tech firm's plans to put Cortana in the passenger's seat emerged after Microsoft's presentation during its recent TechDays event held in Taiwan.

According to Samuel Shen, the COO of Microsoft Asia-Pacific Research and Development Group, the Windows 10-based Cortana will guide drivers by providing vital information through a head-up display.

The company is also looking to incorporate voice command technology in its future connected cars so drivers will be able to interact with the virtual assistant without taking their eyes of the road.

Once operational, the entire system will allow drivers make restaurant reservations, view traffic information and see navigational directions through the car's display.

Aside from competing in the smartphone industry, Microsoft will again pit itself against long-time rivals Google and Apple with its connected car technology. After all, these firms have already launch similar concepts in the form of Google Now and Apple's CarPlay.

Although these features from Google and Apple do not involve the use of a smart windshield display, they rely on the two companies' virtual assistants to provide drivers with vital information while they're on the road. They also work through a voice command system, which is much safer than tinkering with a smartphone to launch a feature while driving.

Through a smart display, however, all of the information that drivers will need will be presented to them without having the need to look at the dashboard.

Currently, Microsoft's connected car technology is still in its testing or prototype stages. This means it might take a while before these appear on public roads. But, the company is already planning on forging deals with Taiwanese for the development of its connected cars.

"We have not launched similar products due to the high cost, but we hope to have further discussions with Taiwanese partners to jointly explore future possibilities," Shen said during the TechDays according to the Taipei Times.

When asked for further details regarding the smart car concept, Microsoft only noted that it is committed to expanding the functions and availability of its various services.

"We will always look at ways to bring high-value experiences, like Cortana, to consumers in a variety of ways," a spokesperson from the company told CNET. "We have nothing to announce at this time."

Tags Microsoft, Connected Car, Cortana, Smart Car, Technology

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