Bosch and Microsoft are to work together to develop a software platform 'to seamlessly connect cars to the cloud'.

The goal of the collaboration is to simplify and accelerate the development and deployment of vehicle software throughout a car's lifetime in accordance with automotive quality standards.

The new platform, which will be based on Microsoft Azure and incorporate software modules from Bosch, will enable software to be developed and downloaded to the control units and vehicle computers.

A further focus of the collaboration will be on the development of tools that increase efficiency in the software development process. This in turn, the companies claim, will drive innovation and reduce development costs for vehicle software within and across organizations.

For drivers, the platform will mean quicker access to new functions and digital services. Both companies intend to make the new software platform available for first vehicle prototypes by the end of 2021.

Dr. Markus Heyn, member of the board of management of Robert Bosch GmbH, said: "Bosch already securely updates car software over the air today. With the comprehensive platform for software-defined cars, we want to further empower automakers to develop new functions and get them on the road faster."

"Our collaboration with Bosch brings together the expertise of one of the world's leading automotive suppliers with the power of the Microsoft cloud, AI and GitHub," says Scott Guthrie, executive vice president, Cloud + AI, Microsoft. "With software quickly becoming a key differentiator in the automotive industry, our ambition is to help businesses accelerate the delivery of unique mobility services across passenger cars and commercial fleets at scale."

"With software quickly becoming a key differentiator in the automotive industry, our ambition is to help businesses accelerate the delivery of unique mobility services across passenger cars and commercial fleets at scale."

Bosch and Microsoft also plan to enrich existing developer tools that will enable automakers and suppliers to simplify and accelerate their own software development, while adapting to the unique challenges in the automotive industry.

The companies also plan to use GitHub's fully integrated enterprise platform and to open-source important parts of the new software platform on GitHub.com to encourage code re-use and best practice sharing across the industry.