The VW.AC software system should be ready by 2025
VW is releasing a roadmap for its automotive cloud
service providers on the topic
By 2025, the Volkswagen Group wants to have a uniform, Internet-based software system for equipping almost all of the Group’s vehicles with newly developed software to support further wireless updates in future vehicle generations.
Therefore, the target time frame for a fully developed “Vehicle Cloud” (VW.AC) is shortly before the start of the future design of the Trinity. This is intended to extend modular logic from the drive to the entire IT drive.
“From the middle of the decade we want to integrate all the vehicles of the group,” said Thomas Bierwirth, responsible manager at the Ingolstadt subsidiary Carad, in an online discussion. “Digital services should be at least 99 percent accessible to our customers.” This goal has already been achieved in the current stock model and the old model of different development interfaces. “Of course, we also want to balance what we learn and build here with new systems,” declared Bierwirth. Integration will be a slow process.
Fast creative delivery
Design has reduced cost and complexity. But end users of cars and mobile devices would also benefit. “It is increasingly important that software and electronic functions can be updated over the air,” the manager said. It’s about a configuration that is continuously updated by customers “throughout the life of their car”. The goal is to further shorten delivery times. For most new types, this is now twelve weeks instead of up to a year and a half as before.
For example, Bierwirth specified an air conditioner through a smartphone app. “The question that arises when the car is asleep is: How does the system activate certain features of the air conditioner – depending on the battery charge level?” Something like this requires full coordination between IT development and effective implementation in the car.Another case is security issues in personal access to the car.
From remote start to karaoke
Basically, a common cloud for all models is about giving developers the tools so that apps can access functions on the car easily and conveniently. “Until now, a lot of detailed knowledge of the specific systems of the respective vehicle platform was required on the part of the developers,” explained Bierwirth. “These processes can be simplified with a cloud platform.” New functions can be released more quickly.
The transfer of different profiles, the implementation of regional recommendations and compliance with regional legal regulations can also be achieved in this way. For example, “remote start” features – starting the car’s operation via software – are highly required in the US, while European authorities do not allow this. In Asia, on the other hand, VW had problems meeting the demands of some consumers with unusual functions such as the “karaoke program” – “Remote Start” was also more popular there. With that modification, the cloud means: “The platform helps us deliver innovation faster.”