German engineering and technology company Bosch has entered a partnership with Microsoft to develop a software platform for vehicles.

The collaboration comes at a time when software technologies are expected to play an increasingly important role in future vehicle development due to the increasing focus on electric cars and automated driving.

As agreed, the new partnership will seek to streamline the development and deployment of software upgrades throughout the lifecycle of the car using Cloud technology.

Based on Microsoft Azure, the new platform will leverage software modules from Bosch to enable the vehicle’s control units and computers to receive the necessary software. This ensures that drivers will receive quicker access to new functions and digital services.

The collaboration will also focus on the development of tools to expedite the software development process and reduce associated costs.

The two companies plan to deploy the new software platform in vehicle prototypes by the end of this year.

Robert Bosch board of management member Dr Markus Heyn 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.”

Microsoft Cloud + AI executive vice-president Scott Guthrie said: “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.

“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.”

In addition, Bosch and Microsoft have agreed to cooperate on enhancing existing developer tools to enable automakers and suppliers to simplify and accelerate their own software development.

Earlier this month, Volkswagen’s Car.Software Organisation partnered with Microsoft for the development of automated driving solutions.