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Transformers

With its own vehicle operating system, its own automotive cloud and a new electronic architecture in its vehicles, Volkswagen is gradually evolving into a software-driven mobility provider. How do fleet customers benefit?

In 2019, Volkswagen sensationally announced its plans to bundle together around 10,000 digital experts in a new, agile Car.Software Organisation by 2025. With this concentrated know-how, the group is planning to develop not only the software in vehicles but also applications for vehicle-related services and added-value services itself. The fact that the complete vehicle IT architecture will be "developed by Volkswagen" will also help to reduce complexity enormously.

By 2025, the proportion of software in our vehicles that we have developed ourselves will increase from under ten percent to 60 percent.

Dr. Herbert Diess CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft

The heart of the system

From a technological point of view, a standardised software platform with basic functions for all Group-branded vehicles will be at the heart of this digital ecosystem. It will comprise the "vw.os" operating system and the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud. Via the digital platform, customers of all brands will in future have access to a full range of services, for example a simple search facility which makes it easy to find e-charging stations in the local area.

The clever operating system!

The vw.os will run as a stand-alone operating system in all Volkswagen Group cars, where it will provide all essential functions. As with the iOS or Android operating systems, the aim is to set a new software standard. At the same time, the individual brands will be able to set themselves apart with special extra functions and software features as well as a brand-dependent interface design. This means that the basic electronic architecture and the majority of the functions will be the same, while the human-machine interface, i.e., the user interface, will have an individual look and feel for each brand.

One major plus point which will benefit fleet customers in particular: the vw.os will allow updates and upgrades over the entire life cycle of the vehicle as is possible with smartphones and other electronic devices. The possibilities range from improving existing functions to putting in place new ones, for example mobility services or assist systems. Given the scalability of the vw.os, this will be possible for anything from small cars to premium limousines. As a result, vehicles can be equipped for professional use even more flexibly and in a way which is even better geared to the particular application.

 

We are currently witnessing the biggest revolution in the automotive sector. In a few years, the operating system of a car and how it is connected to a highly-secure data cloud will make all the difference.

Markus Duesmann Audi CEO and Volkswagen member of the Board of Management for Group Research and Development

Audi's flagship model

The best example of the interaction between Car.Software Organisation and a Group brand is a current Audi project with the resounding name "Artemis". The project involves developing the standardised operating system with basic functions for the Group's own software unit; Audi will then take over further development of the technology to allow electrical, highly automated driving for specific models. The electric car based on this should be launched by 2024 and use the new vw.os. The Artemis team will also create a far-reaching ecosystem for the vehicle and come up with new business models for the entire use phase. And what it develops can then be tailored and used in all new Group models.

With the Artemis project, Audi has joined the race to catch up Tesla.

Dr. Herbert Diess CEO of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft

The Artemis team will also create a far-reaching ecosystem for the vehicle and come up with new business models for the entire use phase. And what it develops can then be tailored and used in all new Group models.

For many of our customers, premium means digital technologies which are perfectly matched to people's needs. Our aim is for all brands in the Volkswagen Group to benefit from this pioneering role.

Markus Duesmann Audi CEO and Volkswagen member of the Board of Management for Group Research and Development

Glossary

  • vw.os
    Volkswagen Operating System. In the future, the Volkswagen AG operating system will be used in all Volkswagen Group branded vehicles.
  • E3
    End-to-end electronic architecture. The IT architecture in the vehicle is based on a few central computers and a standardised programming language.
  • Car.Software Organisation
    The Car Software-Organisation is a separate business unit in which the Volkswagen Group bundles together its software expertise. Its task is to develop the standardised vw.os vehicle operating system for all brands and to connect it to the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud.
  • Volkswagen Automotive Cloud
    The Volkswagen Automotive Cloud is a standardised platform. It allows all assist systems including highly automated driving and parking in end customers' vehicles, software functions for connecting drive, running gear and charging technology and ecosystems for all mobility services and the brands' digital business models.
    Worth a read: "You just say your destination – everything else happens automatically" – interview with Heiko Hüttel, Volkswagen Automotive Cloud.
  • Artemis
    The Artemis project involves a team of automotive and technology experts whose first task is to develop a pioneering model for Audi.
     

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