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  3. Digitalization in the Volkswagen Group

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Digitalization in the Volkswagen Group


By 2030 the automobile will have changed fundamentally: the focus will be on electric drive, connectivity and autonomous driving. With the “NEW AUTO – Mobility for Generations to Come” group strategy, Volkswagen is future-proofing itself and will have already invested around 27 billion euros in the digitalisation of product and corporation by 2025. The message is clear: Volkswagen is transforming into a tech group and, going forward, will offer their customers everything from a single source, from hardware through software to services.

The entire economic world is undergoing a radical phase of transformation. The digitalisation of all industries is the driver of this change, in which Volkswagen is playing a key role. The overall guiding principle of the NEW AUTO strategy is redefining mobility while doing business with climate neutrality, and responsibly. The focus is on the development of sustainable, connected, secure, tailored mobility solutions for future generations.

On the journey to becoming a software-oriented mobility provider, in addition to the car and services relating to mobility, Volkswagen is also digitalising development and vehicle production, and is setting up agile ways of working for its employees. The objective being to link the mobile and digital world in such a way that customers, the corporation and society all benefit equally.

Software as the key to the automobile experience of the future

Software already plays a key role in the car, and it will become increasingly important in future. Today’s cars such as the Volkswagen ID.4 are fully networked, their functionality can be configured on an individual basis and can be continuously expanded. Customers can add functions at any time, ‘on demand’. The cars will also be kept up-to-date via “Over-the-Air Updates” – without needing to go to the garage.

So, software is increasingly decisive in how a customer experiences their car. The operating system of a car and its connectivity with a data cloud are becoming more of a factor that gives a competitive edge. They are the basis for assistance systems with greater performance through to autonomous driving, which makes motoring even safer and more comfortable. Simply put: The automobile will become an all-electric powered ‘mobile device’, a smart mobility companion.

Greater efficiency with digital processes

In the group’s IT department, around 12,000 IT experts around the world are working on the digitalisation of business processes and the connectivity of millions of people a day: from the around 670,000 Volkswagen Group employees to suppliers, dealers and customers. At the locations Berlin, Wolfsburg, San Francisco and Munich, cross-brand IT solutions are being developed that will sustainably improve people’s lives. The basis for this is the group-wide IT infrastructure that includes carbon-neutral data centres and global networks that are under continuous development.

The industrial application of Internet of Things connects production facilities and systems. It is in this context that Volkswagen is currently setting up the biggest cloud project of its type in the world: the Industrial Cloud. In future, the data from all machines, installations and systems from 118 factories will be amalgamated and analysed in this cloud. The IT specialists are also programming the capabilities for autonomous service and industry robots, which will take on increasingly complex processes. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are already optimising processes in production and in the office. And Volkswagen is going one step further: The group is the first automotive company in the world to test the use of quantum computers for real-world applications. To provide the ultimate protection for our data and that of our customers, we are working with the latest IT security standards, which we are helping draw up across industries for the business location of Germany in the German Cyber Security Organisation.

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