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BMW Calls On Amazon To "Make Better Use Of Data"

Image via Nastya Dulhiier on Unsplash

As it does with most sectors, Amazon has had its eye on the automotive sector for a while. Amazon's popular Alexa is integrated into dozens of vehicles from automakers such as Audi, BMW, Ford and Toyota.

Amazon announced a handful of new automotive products and solutions at CES 2020 earlier this year, including the Echo Auto, which connects to the Alexa app on your phone and plays through your car's speakers. Amazon also detailed an integration with Blackberry, where the two are working together to develop a connected vehicle software platform, and Unity Technologies, where the two are working together on an autonomous perception system.

Last week, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Blackberry announced another multi-year partnership that will see the two companies develop and market BlackBerry IVY, which is an intelligent vehicle data platform. Shares of Blackberry soared as much as 65% following the news.

"As automakers seek to race ahead in their digital transformations, BlackBerry IVY empowers them to build their brands and set the standard for connected vehicle services across the automotive industry," AWS CEO Andy Jassy said.

BMW gave Amazon a nod of approval yesterday when it announced the two would join together for a comprehensive strategic collaboration to accelerate BMW's pace of innovation by emphasizing data and analytics in decision-making. BMW and Amazon will jointly develop cloud-based IT and software solutions to increase efficiency, performance and sustainability across all of BMW's processes, from vehicle development to after-sales services.

The two companies have already been working together on the so-called "Cloud Data Hub of the BMW Group," which is the central platform for managing all of BMW's data and data solutions in the cloud. The Cloud Data Hub allows BMW to use machine learning to predict things such as demand for certain models and options, allowing BMW to optimize purchasing, production and sales.

"The BMW Group is driving digitalization and innovation in the automotive industry," BMW Group IT CIO and SVP Alexander Buresch said. "We are making data central to the way we work and we look forward to collaborating with AWS to merge our talents, continuing to raise the bar for innovation among automakers and delivering exciting new experiences for our customers around the world."

The strategic collaboration will see BMW migrate data from its operations in more than 100 countries to AWS. To "make better use of data," BMW will train 5,000 of its employees in the latest AWS technologies, with 2,000 of them slated to become AWS certified with an emphasis on machine learning and data analytics.

"By combining the domain expertise of the BMW Group with AWS's demonstrated leadership in the cloud, we're expanding our impact across the automotive industry so that stakeholders, from parts manufacturers to mechanics, can benefit from greater visibility and insights," Amazon Web Services VP of Sales & Marketing Matt Garman said.

As Amazon forges deeper ties with BMW, one of the most well-respected automakers in the world, it's likely only a matter of time before it moves deeper into the auto sector.

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