Volkswagen, Microsoft expand deal to help speed up automated driving

New VW software division will build cloud-based platform with Microsoft

Photograph: iStock

Photograph: iStock

 

Volkswagen and Microsoft are expanding their cooperation involving the US software giant’s cloud technology to include speeding up development of automated driving.

VW’s new software division will build a cloud-based platform with Microsoft that will help simplify development processes and allow faster integration into its vehicle fleet, the German automaker said Thursday in a statement.

“As part of Volkswagen Group’s transformation toward a digital mobility provider we continuously aim for more efficiency in software development,” said Dirk Hilgenberg, head of VW’s CarSoftware organisation.

Europe’s largest automaker has budgeted about €27 billion of investment in digital operations by 2025 and plans to increase the share of software it develops in-house to 60 per cent from 10 per cent. It first struck a deal with Microsoft in 2018 for an automotive cloud to connect future cars and will dispatch initial test fleets later this year. The software is slated to be used in VW’s production cars starting in 2022.

Microsoft added another automotive partner earlier this year by joining forces with and investing in General Motors’ Cruise. It competes for deals with Amazon. com, which is working with VW on an industrial cloud that will connect the carmaker’s factories. – Bloomberg