Smartphone usage is, unfortunately, a huge epidemic for drivers, and a massive cause of deadly accidents in the 21st century. No matter how many times we're told to not look at our phones while driving, everyone still has to send that Snapchat or view that text. Thankfully, car manufacturers have caught on to these bad habits and hands-free smartphone integration software like Android Auto and Apple Carplay come standard in most new vehicles. The software is still relatively basic, only allowing access to a handful of car-tailored, third-party apps like Waze and Spotify. Now, Microsoft wants to add Skype to the mix to make communicating on the go easier.
Microsoft announced on Thursday that it is partnering with BMW to develop a car-friendly version of the popular Skype instant-messaging and video chat program. It believes that your car should be as much of an office space as it is a means of transportation. With Skype for Business installed in the new BMW 5 Series, Microsoft says that businessmen and women will be able to participate in video calls, get meeting notifications, and view contacts from their infotainment systems and head-up displays. This is all thanks to BMW's iDrive system which lets drivers use all kinds of Microsoft services without taking their hands off the wheel.
BMWs in France, Germany, and the United Kingdom will receive Microsoft's latest hands-free features first, and the company promises that the rest of the world will get it soon after. Microsoft hopes to make the road a much safer place while improving productivity and smartphone technology.