Cloud Computing

TechEd 2012: 'Project Detroit' Ford Mustang

When most people think of cloud computing, they generally don't associate the phrase with a muscle car with more than 400 horsepower. That's clearly the case with Microsoft 'Project Detroit', a custom car concept developed in conjunction with famous tuner West Coast Customs, which is featured in the Inside West Coast Customs TV reality series on the Discovery Channel. Microsoft had Project Detroit on display at TechEd 2012 in Orlando, and a small throng of attendees could always be seen clustered around the car between sessions.


While I won't delve too deeply into the technical specifications of the vehicle in this more IT-focused article (motorheads can visit this Project Detroit write-up for more details on the vehicle itself) I can say that Microsoft has imbued the vehicle with a fair amount of cloud computing mojo. The project car was equipped to serve as a 4G wireless hotspot, which allows it to easily connect to cloud services, such as Bing Maps (for navigation) and custom Windows Azure integration for recording vehicle statistics like engine RPM, current vehicle speed, fuel level, and other details. It also integrates with the Viper SmartStart App for Windows Phone, which allows you to locate, unlock, and start the vehicle remotely.

Readers more interested in the software development side of the project can check out Microsoft's post explaining how .NET code was used to control the external lights. Microsoft plans to open-source all the code used in the Project Detroit concept vehicle, so other tech-savvy car builders can possibly adapt for their own creations. (Photos: Jeff James and Sean Deuby)

So what do you think of 'Project Detroit'? Add a comment to this blog post or contribute to a discussion on Twitter.

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