Jaguar Land Rover is spending $15m on a “minority investment” in American connected car start-up CloudCar.
Venturebeat.com reports that CloudCar, which was founded in California in 2011, offers a platform that connects car manufacturers with a host of services for safely connecting cars to the internet.
The services include machine-learning smart systems, such as natural language processing (NLP) that allows drivers to request apps and services using normal speech, while keeping their eyes firmly on the road. CloudCar also offers carmakers a software development kit (SDK) to tailor the “look and feel” of the in-car information / entertainment setup and lets them customise it with proprietary services. It says the system also makes it easy to expand geographically without requiring firmware updates.
Venturebeat’s report adds that CloudCar had raised $11.5 million back in 2012, so this latest cash injection takes the company’s total outside investment past the $25 million mark. It says that, by partnering with CloudCar, Jaguar Land Rover is looking to “turbocharge its connected credentials in the near-term” and will adopt CloudCar’s platform for its first all-electric vehicle, the Jaguar I-Pace, which was announced last year.
“This represents an important step in developing connected car technology,” explained Jaguar Land Rover’s executive director of corporate strategy, Hanno Kirner. “CloudCar has been working with premium manufacturers on some of the most exciting opportunities and challenges in the fields of machine learning and infotainment. This investment is integral to Jaguar Land Rover’s vehicle technology programme: but the programme also presents an invaluable opportunity for other automotive manufacturers to get involved. The eventual need to integrate into the car hundreds of driver-focused global cloud services and content means this platform is an excellent example where cooperation between OEMs can improve outcomes for customers, as well as reducing costs.”