Workplace meetings hit the road as Microsoft develops Teams for cars

By DPA | 18 September 2021

SEATTLE: In the wake of pandemic-era relaxations to the rules on where we do our office work, Microsoft is trying to make the car an everyday place to remotely join an office meeting.

"You can now join Teams meetings and make calls hands-free on the road using Siri," Microsoft says, announcing a new set of features in September designed to improve hybrid work models that have become a reality at many workplaces.

While work calls at the wheel are far from new, the idea of being able to join work meetings from the car stands to benefit many who have a lengthy daily commute to the office.

At the same time, "sorry, I was in my car" will likely no longer cut it as an excuse for avoiding a lengthy meeting.

Anyone who owns an iPhone and drives a compatible car is set to be able to take part in Teams meetings using their's car entertainment system when work on the new feature is finished later in September.

To ensure that the whole thing runs safely and that your hands can stay on the wheel the whole time, you'll be able to start and join meetings using voice commands to Apple's Siri assistant.

What's more, Teams meetings in your car are also audio only, meaning there's no video image on the car display.

For one things, the vast majority of cars don't have webcams, while dispaying video footage on a screen for the driver is banned in many places.

The new car feature is limited to Apple users for now, however. While Android Auto already has some compatability with Microsoft Teams, this is limited to receiving chat notifactions.