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Microsoft is rebooting its push to sell software for cars with a new set of programs and services in a bid to keep up with rivals such as Google and Apple that are expanding in auto technology. "We're not getting into self-driving cars ourselves but we can be an important element of it by providing the platform," said Microsoft's business development chief Peggy Johnson, in an interview. The Renault-Nissan alliance signed an agreement in September with Microsoft to work on car technology. The companies said Thursday that Renault-Nissan will be the first customer for Microsoft's Connected Vehicle Platform, which provides carmakers with a set of services built on Microsoft's Azure cloud.
Waymo, Google's self-driving car division, will start testing its new fleet of minivans on public roads in California and Arizona later this month. The minivans, built in collaboration with Fiat Chrysler, are Chrysler Pacifica hybrids outfitted with Waymo's own suite of sensors and radar. Waymo and FCA announced their partnership in May.
U.S. chip maker Intel plans to take a 15 percent stake in German digital mapping firm Here, it said today, as it seeks to build its presence in automated driving technology. A filing to the German cartel office showed Intel has sought approval to buy a stake in the company, which is controlled by German carmakers Daimler, BMW and Volkswagen.