Volkswagen Group has announced radical plans to change its business from a “pure car company” to “an integrated mobility group”.
The Group laid out its “NEW AUTO” strategy and promised big changes in the way the group operates and the sort of products it builds through to 2030.
“By the end of the decade, automated driving will completely change the world of mobility”, says Christian Senger, CTO of VW Commercial Vehicles. “Together with ARGO AI, we are developing an industry-leading self-driving system which will enable us to offer completely new mobility services and autonomous transport services”.
This increased focus on autonomous transport services will be enabled by VW’s software company CARIAD. The company is working on a software backbone that will drive all of the VW’s group’s cars by 2025.
Currently, its E³ 1.1 platform allows for upgrades and over-the-air (OTA) updates for cars built on VW’s MED platform, such as the Volkswagen ID.4, the Skoda Enyaq, and the Cupra Born. By 2023, however, E³ 1.2 should be available and will bring a new unified infotainment system and OTA updates for Audi and Porsche models.
By 2025 CARIAD will have delivered E³ 2.0 which will bring a unified operating system for all VW Group brands and, with this update, all models (around 40 million vehicles in total) will have level 4 autonomous driving capabilities – meaning drivers need steer their cars no longer.
“Software plays the decisive role in the transformation from a pure car company to an integrated mobility group. By 2030, software – on the basis of automated driving – can become a major source of income in our industry”, says CARIAD CEO Dirk Hilgenberg.
VW is also planning to offer its first autonomous shuttle service in Europe in 2025 and is currently trialling the service in Munich. A US rollout is expected to begin shortly afterwards.
“The Volkswagen Group aspires to achieve a strong competitive edge in the field of mobility solutions”, says Christian Dahlhein, Head of Group Sales. “We will be able to offer services directly to our customers or cooperate with strong partners, depending on the specific situation in each market. One vehicle fleet for all services will enable us to operate very efficiently”.
The shift from the People’s Car to the People’s Service is clearly gathering pace.