Microsoft is apparently working on an initiative that might bring its digital personal assistant ‘Cortana’ in your car. At the company’s TechDays conference on Tuesday, a Microsoft executive said that it has built a prototype of connected cars using Cortana, which can recognize voice commands. He explained that the Cortana-connected prototype would have a windscreen integrated with a navigation system, allowing drivers to see nearby locations and perform tasks such as making restaurant reservations.
The Redmond giant has already had a stint in the connected-car arena, providing in-car technology to automakers such as Ford, BMW and Fiat, and also announced a ‘Windows in the Car’ initiative at its 2014 BUILD conference. It would offer maps, radio, music along with traffic updates though the company did not really have an answer as to how one would actually control the in-car system.
Lately, Microsoft has been extending the functionality of Cortana, which was initially only available on Windows Phone. Now, the Halo-inspired digital assistant plays a key role on Windows 10 PCs and tablets. And with the ever-growing popularity of connected car technology, making the technology available in cars seems to be the next logical step for Microsoft.
However, the technology still remains in its prototype stage, with Microsoft planning to join hands with Taiwanese partners in its initiative to develop connected car technology that can respond to voice commands. Neither has there been a timeline announced as to when the project will reach its completion. Hence, the chances of seeing Cortana in your car will not be happening anytime soon.
“We will always look at ways to bring high-value experiences, like Cortana, to consumers in a variety of ways,” a Microsoft spokesperson said. “We have nothing to announce at this time.”
Meanwhile, in other related news, Cyanogen recently revealed that it’s working with Microsoft to integrate Cortana in its custom skin for Android, notably doing away with Google’s own voice control. Cyanogen subtly hinted that this has the potential to offer better control over third party apps compared to rivals like Google Now and Siri. It will reportedly be available in the next version of the Cyanogen OS, so we’ll finally figure out how good really is Cortana’s integration with Cyanogen.