Auto: Unified cloud for VW software should be available by 2025

By 2025, the Volkswagen Group wants to have a uniform, internet-based software platform for equipping almost all Group vehicles with newly developed apps and thus anchoring more wireless updates in the coming car generations.

Auto: Unified cloud for VW software should be available by 2025

By 2025, the Volkswagen Group wants to have a uniform, internet-based software platform for equipping almost all Group vehicles with newly developed apps and thus anchoring more wireless updates in the coming car generations.

The target date for the fully mature "Automotive Cloud" (VW.AC) is thus shortly before the planned launch of the future Trinity core model. This is intended to extend the modular logic from the drive to the entire vehicle IT.

"From the middle of the decade we want to connect all group cars," said Thomas Bierwirth, responsible manager at the Ingolstadt subsidiary Cariad, in an online discussion. "The digital services should be at least 99 percent available for our customers." In the current model stock with the previous, old structure of different development interfaces, this goal has already been achieved. "Of course, we also want to synchronize what we learn and build here with the new systems," announced Bierwirth. The integration will be a gradual process.

Continuously updated configurations

Standardization has reduced costs and complexity. But the end users of cars and mobile devices would also have advantages. "It is becoming increasingly important that software and electronic functions can be updated over-the-air," said the manager. It is about continuously updated configurations by customers "throughout the entire life cycle of their car". The aim is to further shorten the delivery times. For many new models, these are now twelve weeks instead of up to one and a half years as before.

As an example, Bierwirth named the air conditioning via smartphone app. "A question that arises when the car is asleep is something like: How do I wake it up? How does the system start up certain components of the air conditioning system - depending on the charge level of the battery?" Something like this requires precise coordination between IT development and concrete implementation in the car. Another case are security aspects in personal access to the vehicle.

Cloud platform to enable simplification

Basically, the standard cloud for all models is about providing the developers with tools so that the apps can access functions in the car simply and easily. "Until now, developers needed a lot of in-depth knowledge of the specific systems of the respective vehicle platform," explained Bierwirth. "With the cloud platform, these processes can be simplified." New functional offers are possible more quickly.

The transfer of different profiles, the implementation of regional preferences and the observance of regional legal regulations can also be better achieved in this way. For example, "remote start" functions - starting the car drive via an app - are particularly popular in the USA, while authorities in Europe do not allow this. In Asia, on the other hand, VW had problems meeting the wishes of some consumers for unusual functions such as a “karaoke app” – “Remote Start” also became more popular there. For such adjustments, the cloud means: "The platform helps us to offer innovations quickly."

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