Nissan and Microsoft are volting in and joining forces after the Japanese automaker announced that all Nissan LEAF models and Infiniti models in Europe would be be fitted with the company’s new Connect Telematics Systems connectivity platform. More importantly, these platforms will be powered by Microsoft Azure, a program that provides a global cloud platform that will allow car owners to have a remote connection to their vehicles, even when they’re not inside their respective cars.

Like most connectivity platforms that have been introduced at the Consumer Electronics Show, Nissan’s Azure-powered CTS platform will open up a world of new mobility and technological solutions for owners of the Nissan LEAF and Infiniti models across the pond. Among the notable features of the CTS is the ability to use mobile phones as substitute remote controls that will be capable of adjusting in-car controls from a distance.

A Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant will also be introduced as a standard feature for all Nissan LEAFs around the world. Imagine the convenience of not having to read through and reply to text messages by hand. This feature cuts out that tedious and often dangerous practice, replacing it with a system that can read the text out loud to the driver and allow the driver respond by voice or through pre-set responses that can be accessed via switches on the steering wheel. Instead of having to write down “on my way” in response to a text, a driver can just say it out loud or press a button on the wheel to send the same message.

Nissan’s promise to deliver a more innovative and intelligent future for its connected technologies took a big step with its partnership with one of the biggest tech companies in the world. With this collaboration with Microsoft in place, Nissan is definitely on its way to making good on all of its promises.

Continue after the jump for the full story.

Why it matters

With so many automakers presenting their own versions of the infotainment systems of tomorrow, it’s easy for others to get buried in a pile of ambitious promises and even more ambitious proclamations. From a breaking news standpoint, Nissan’s announced partnership with Microsoft isn’t one of the biggest headlines to come out the Consumer Electronics Show. But just because it didn’t get front page treatment, that doesn’t mean this partnership is no less important than the other ones that are being feverishly written in press releases.

The truth is, Nissan’s partnership with Microsoft is a huge step for the company in its mission to provide a world-class connectivity platform. Who better to tie up with than Microsoft, one of the world’s biggest cloud providers and the first to adopt the world’s first international cloud privacy standard, ISO 27018. Again, that’s not really all that attention-grabbing from a news standpoint. But, from a technical point-of-view, it’s a major coup for Nissan.

Just as important is Microsoft Azure’s ability to support multiple operating systems, programming languages, and tools. Not only does this give Nissan flexibility on its own platform, it also helps the company provide services on a global scale, thus allowing it to reach its entire customer base.

Nissan also smartly tapped the LEAF and all the models of its sub-brand, Infiniti, to be the first ones to benefit from this partnership with Microsoft. It’s a no-brainer with the LEAF since the appeal of electric cars are growing at an exceptionally high rate and access to information like maps, range prediction, charging station availability, and charge status are absolutely essential. With Infiniti, the Nissan-Microsoft Azure alliance would be able to tap into a more premium clientele that is more likely to embrace the benefits in enhanced mobility and digital connectivity provided by this new technological platform.

As time passes on, expect Nissan to introduce the fruits of its alliance with Microsoft into the rest of its lineup.

Nissan Leaf

2016 Nissan Leaf High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the Nissan Leaf here.

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