This week, Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess ventured into the world of Reddit. With automotive mobility undergoing a huge upheaval, and with a lot of considerations about the multi-faceted future of the industry, Diess’ first Ask Me Anything (AMA) offered an insight into efforts at the Volkswagen Group and CARIAD.
Diess emphasized the key principles and importance of the Volkswagen Group’s NEW AUTO strategy. Individual mobility is changing more than ever before. And CARIAD is developing software with the mission to make the automotive experience safer, more sustainable and more comfortable. Automated driving functions are becoming a greater part of the driving experience. It was therefore no surprise that they formed a common theme in the questions posed to Diess.
Autonomous driving: The biggest game-changer for the automotive industry
In response to a question about plans for development in the area of ADAS/AD, Diess said: “Autonomous driving is the biggest game-changer for the automotive industry. We’ll be able to drive our customers safely and comfortably. This will be a gradual process from taking over responsibility on open highways in good weather conditions to more complex environments and weather situations worldwide. So this will be a long process of competition for a long period to come. We’re building up competencies to become a serious competitor in this race.”
If you’re looking for a new challenge and want to join us at CARIAD in building up this competency, check out our current vacancies in the field of ADAS/AD.
In-house development and a software-first approach
Other questions centered around CARIAD’s efforts to increase in-house expertise and the percentage of in-house software development. How much software and development effort is shared between our teams, departments, brands and subsidiaries? And how strong is our software-first mindset?
Asked about what concrete steps are being taken to strengthen in-house development and work towards vertical integration, Diess responded: “We’re building up capabilities to become self-sufficient in car software, through organic growth, acquisition and partnerships to build up own IP and recruiting tech talents. To acquire IP, we started a partnership with Bosch. To advance our image recognition capabilities, we acquired the Hella Aglaia team. More to come. Currently, we’re investing 2 billion for software per year, and CARIAD is already delivering the software updates over the air, preparing new launches and features together with our brands.”
To find out more about the inside-out, software-first approach we’re taking at CARIAD, be sure to read our explanation of the MVP for software platform E3 2.0. The MVP is the first physical example and demonstration not only of our most advanced architecture, but also of our new way of working.
One software stack developed in collaboration with the brands
Finally, when asked about any plans to simplify the corporate structure of the Volkswagen Group and how the various engineering teams can work together more effectively across the company, Diess replied: “Volkswagen will remain a multi-brand mobility company working worldwide and being present in many segments. To reduce complexity, we’re focusing on platforms, even more in the future. One hardware platform SSP, unified battery cells and one shared software stack with CARIAD will ensure that we leverage our economies of scale fully.”
CARIAD works, in fact, in very close collaboration with the brands and their individual engineering teams. A recent example of this is the development of three parallel systems with Porsche to improve the safety and reliability of automated driving. Another example is our close alignment with Audi, as we explored in an article about the technical and ethical questions surrounding automated driving technology.