How to build the leading tech stack in the mobility industry

Car.Software Organisation will revolutionize the electric, electronic and software architecture by putting more and more software into the game and move functions from the hardware to the software layer. There are 5 key elements of this new architecture.

  • #Technology
  • #CompanyNews
CARIAD Media Team
CARIAD Media Team
4 min.  —  
27/05/2020
ID.3 Concept Car ID.3: Concept Car

On the brink of revolution: Car.SW Org. as a strong driver

The Car.Software Organisation is an independent business unit within the Volkswagen Group. Here, we develop one single software platform for all brands of the Group, incorporating our operating system and the corresponding cloud connection, the automotive cloud. The platform will cover all software-based functions that go deep into the vehicle, but also digital services and value-added services for our customers, right through to systems in the dealership.

We will revolutionize our electric, electronic and software architecture by putting more and more software into the game and move functions from the hardware to the software layer. This makes us more independent from the physical layout of the car — and allows us to constantly update its function — just like a smartphone.

Stream of green light The ID.3 communicates via light | The vehicle is not yet offered for sale in Europe.

From vertical to horizontal: The 5 key elements of our architecture

We work with a horizontally layered architecture. That may not be new in areas like cloud or enterprise software. But in the automotive industry, it’s revolutionary. That is exactly what we are aiming for:

  1. By decoupling software and hardware we are starting to move capabilities that are today within the hardware component into the software layer. Just one example: If you have a little camera in the ceiling that observes if the driver is aware and still awake, it is limited to this use because software and hardware are basically embedded. By decoupling them, the camera all of the sudden becomes much more flexible, e.g. for videoconferencing.
  2. The car’s operating system will provide the core abstraction, the core access to the infrastructure below, with network, actuators, sensors and operators. It provides an efficient environment, where customer functions can be realized on top comparable to apps.
  3. The automotive cloud will be a native cloud environment and micro services oriented architecture. It allows us to have a space where we can realize the new business functions and things like remote control via smartphone or charging scenarios.
  4. Via Over-the-air (OTA) updates, we will provide new functions and bring them in a scalable way into all the cars.
  5. With the help of data, we will improve the functionality of the car, e.g. the AI algorithms for automated driving, and the services for the drivers — and then feed them back into the car via OTA mechanism.

There are layers within the software: the operating system, the base services, the extended services and customer functions. Each of them can be managed in a different cycle speed. While hardware might usually have something like a 2–6 years cycle, our operating system, base services and customer functions will have shorter cycles.

To boldly go where no one has gone before

Silhouette in fron of a galaxy Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

The question naturally arises why we take this complex trip. There is a relatively simple answer to this question:   

In the automotive industry, software has been more of a niche topic so far. It is super exciting to see how it has moved to the center of what a car must be able to do in the future. Now we need to move fast, to simplify processes, to be agile — and, above all, to inspire and empower people.

You want to shape with us the future of mobility? Then apply now.