We’ve all heard about employees that are working ‘on the road.’ Whether it’s a travelling sales staff, a project manager splitting time between different satellites of the company, or a remote employee that spends part of the week working from home, on the road workers are becoming more prevalent as technology evolves to suit collaboration from anywhere.
HARMAN took ‘on the road’ to a new level this week, according to The Verge. The company, which creates connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, announced a connected car collaboration with Microsoft. The project will introduce new mobile productivity services into the HARMAN infotainment systems, including cloud platforms, telematics and driver productivity, as well as integrating key elements of Microsoft Office 365 productivity suite capabilities. A HARMAN press release explains further:
With access to relevant Office 365 services through intelligent personal assistant software, drivers can complete tasks without compromising safety, including scheduling meetings, hearing and responding to emails, automatically joining conference calls without having to manually input the phone number and passcode, and seamlessly managing events and tasks throughout the day. Drivers will also be able to hold Skype calls and conferences when in park, or on the road with autonomous vehicles. In addition, with HARMAN’s over-the-air (OTA) incremental update capabilities, the most current version of Office 365 will always be accessible to drivers.
Once the collaboration begins to roll out, travelling employees will really be able to work on the road. Employees can join conferences, manage schedules, and keep up with e-mail even while driving from one destination to the next. And once autonomous cars begin to take over the road who knows the capabilities that the system will be able to fulfill? It’s not unreasonable to believe that employees could participate in collaborative meetings while on the road.
It’s unclear at this time which cars will begin to adopt these new capabilities once they are ready. The companies are only in the early stages of development, and it will be up to the automobile manufacturers whether or not they want to adopt. But HARMAN has a relationship with Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Jeep and Toyota already, and will likely use those connections to push the product when it’s ready.
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